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Press Release

Fourteen Indicted For Deliberately Defrauding Federal Unemployment Insurance Program

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Illinois

Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that fourteen individuals were indicted on October 23, 2013, by a federal Grand Jury. The indictments charge each person with, among other things, Embezzling Public Funds, namely unemployment insurance payments administered by the Illinois and Missouri Departments of Employment Security. The total amount of fraudulent overpayments alleged in the 14 indictments is $351,005.87.

“Cheating on unemployment compensation is a crime," said United States Attorney Wigginton. "Those who defraud the unemployment insurance program undermine support for an important public program and hurt and insult every law-abiding citizen of Southern Illinois. No person is above the law, thus I will continue my efforts to see that persons who defraud the United States of America, and all of us, are made to face justice."

The individuals charged include:
Elizabeth Asbury, 41, of Hartford
Clarence Budde III, 41, of New Baden
Gary Cuddy, 31, of Olney
Sheila Davison, 45, of Cahokia
Steven Gordon, 39, of Effingham
Michael Hill, 48, of East St. Louis
Trudie Lindsey, 56, of East St. Louis
Kenneth Loving, 42, of East St. Louis
Melonetria McCallum, 37, of O’Fallon
Robert Pickett, 43, of Venice
Quintin Redd, 46, of Fairview Heights
Regina Skjerseth, 43, of Sage Creek
Rickey Watson, 48, of Belleville
Nicholas Zezoff, 41, of Granite City

These cases were investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Illinois Department of Employment Security and the Missouri Division of Employment Security, and are being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Stuart J. Zander.

An indictment is a formal charge against a defendant. Under the law, that charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

Updated February 19, 2015