Skip to main content
Press Release

Daughter Illegally Collects Her Mother's Federal Pension Benefits Following Her Mother's Death

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri

St. Louis, MO – Karen Dickerson, 70, of St. Louis County, pleaded guilty to one felony count of theft of government funds.  Dickerson appeared in federal court today before U.S. District Judge Rodney W. Sippel who accepted her plea and set her sentencing date for April 8, 2020.

According to court documents, Karen Dickerson’s mother, Bernadine Dickerson, received monthly retirement payments through the Civil Service Retirement System, as she was retired from the federal government.  Bernadine Dickerson died on April 25, 1995.  Her monthly federal pension payments continued to be deposited into a bank account that was held jointly with her son, Warren Dickerson, who passed away in 2012.  At that point, Karen Dickerson became Power of Attorney on the account.  The federal government was not notified of Bernadine’s death during 1995, and Karen continued to collect her deceased mother’s pension benefits from the bank account until she finally reported her mother’s death to the federal government during September 2017.  The total monthly pension payments made following Warren Dickerson’s death was approximately $107,383.

Karen Dickerson faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.   Restitution is also mandatory.  In determining the actual sentence, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management is investigating this case.  Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Diane Klocke is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Updated January 8, 2020

Financial Fraud