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Press Release

Two Metro East Women Convicted Of Unemployment Fraud

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

Two more metro east women have been convicted of unemployment fraud. Melonetria McCallum, 37, of O’Fallon, Ill., and Trudie Lindsey, 57, of East St. Louis Ill., pleaded guilty to Embezzlement of Public Funds on July 11, 2014, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today.

Documents filed in US District Court established that in each case the women applied for and received unemployment compensation from the state of Missouri at a time when they were earning income and residing in Illinois. In each case, the women falsely certified that they were eligible to receive unemployment benefits and concealed the fact that they had employment at the time they were also receiving benefits. McCallum is accused of unlawfully taking $14,219.97 from the program, while Lindsey was charged with stealing $14,001.00.

The Missouri Department of Employment Security administers Missouri’s unemployment program to provide temporary income replacement for individual workers who lost their jobs through no fault of their own. US Attorney Stephen R. Wigginton said, “These programs are funded through the taxes paid by employers, employees and additional federal contributions. This money is intended to serve as the fundamental safety net in society, not as a hammock for those who double dip.”

Embezzlement of public funds is punishable by not more than 10 years in prison, and/or a $250,000 fine, or both, and not more than three years of supervised release. Each defendant will also be required to make restitution for the amount that they stole. The United States Sentencing Guidelines must be applied to the case and considered by the Court during sentencing. Both defendants will be sentenced in US District Court on October 23, 2014.

The investigations were conducted by agents from the US Department of Labor, Office of the Inspector General. The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Steven D. Weinhoeft.

Updated February 19, 2015