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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Illinois

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Cahokia Woman Indicted For Stealing Funds From Department Of Veterans Affairs

The United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today that Mary Lee Owens, 53, of Cahokia, was indicted by the federal grand jury at the East St. Louis federal courthouse on charges that she stole pension benefits from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

The indictment alleges that from November 2004 through April 2013, Owens fraudulently obtained monies which were in excess of $1,000.00, belonging to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, an agency of the United States, by concealing her employment status in order to receive unemployment benefits. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and up to 3 years of supervised release.

An indictment is a formal charge against a defendant. Under the law, a defendant is presumed to be innocent of a charge and is entitled to a fair trial at which the Government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The case was investigated by agents of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Liam Coonan.

Updated February 19, 2015