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Press Release

St. Clair County Women Plead Guilty To Theft Of Government Social Security Benefits

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 on July 1, 2014, Tara Star Johndrow, 30, of Belleville, Illinois, and Amber Dawn Adams, 34, of Fayetteville, Illinois, each pled guilty to one count of Theft of Government Funds. Sentencing for Johndrow is scheduled for October 9, 2014, and sentencing for Adams is scheduled for October 17, 2014. Both sentencings will take place in United States District Court in East St. Louis, Illinois.

Adams and Johndrow were indicted separately on April 23, 2014, on charges of Theft of Government Funds, which carry potential penalties of up to 10 years in prison, fines of up to $250,000, and up to 3 years of supervised release to follow any period of incarceration.

The indictment against Adams alleges that between March of 2008 and August of 2012, she falsely claimed and received more than $9,000 in Title II – Survivor Benefits that were intended for the benefit of her child, when the child did not live her and she did not support the child during the time frame alleged in the indictment.

The indictment against Johndrow alleges that between August of 2010 and August of 2012, she received $14,500 in Supplemental Social Security Payments from the Social Security Administration, when she falsely claimed to the government agency that she did not work during the time frame alleged.

“These cases are yet additional examples of the wide-spread fraud that plagues both state and federal programs that are in place to help those in our society who need that help the most. My office will continue to stand beside both federal and state agencies and law enforcement in taking every step necessary to find and prosecute those who steal from, and continue to defraud these vital programs,” said United States Attorney Wigginton.

The investigation was conducted by the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General, and the cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ranley R. Killian.

Updated February 19, 2015