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Press Release

Three St. Clair County Women Indicted For 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 the return of indictments by a Federal Grand Jury sitting in East St. Louis, Illinois, against three St. Clair County women alleging that they defrauded the Social Security Administration.

Lashonda Russell, 38, of Cahokia, Amber Dawn Adams, 33, of Fayetteville, and Tara Star Johndrow, 28, of Belleville, were indicted separately on April 23, 2014, on charges of Theft of Government Funds, which carry potential penalties of up to 10 years of imprisonment, fines of up to $250,000, and up to 3 years of supervised release to follow any period of incarceration.

The indictment against Russell alleged that between September of 2006 and March of 2013, she received more than $50,134 by falsely claiming and receiving Supplemental Social Security Income payments for a child that did not live with her and she did not support during the time frame alleged in the indictment.

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.

Note: Any person charged is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. No person is required to prove their innocence.

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

Updated February 19, 2015