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Press Release

Philadelphia Woman Charged With Stealing Dead Friend's Pension

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

PHILADELPHIA - Melba Wilson, 76, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was charged by Information, filed May 25, 2016, with one count of theft of government funds and one count of theft from an employee pension plan, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger.  According to the Information, the defendant received Social Security and pension benefits intended for a deceased friend, after the friend’s death in March 2007 until her fraud was discovered in the spring of 2015.  The defendant’s alleged actions resulted in a loss to the Social Security Administration in the amount of $134,389, and to the Department of Labor in the amount of $39,750, for a total loss to the government of approximately $174,139.          

If convicted, the defendant faces a statutory maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, a three‑year period of supervised release, restitution to the government of $174,139, a possible fine, and a $200 special assessment.

The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General and the Department of Labor Office of Inspector General. It is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Amanda R. Reinitz.


An Information is an accusation.  A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated June 7, 2016