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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 24, 2014

Two Metro East Women Sentenced For Unemployment Fraud

Two metro-east women have been sentenced in federal court for their convictions of theft of public funds (unemployment fraud), the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today.

Melonetria McCallum, 38, of O’Fallon, Illinois, was sentenced to 5 years of probation and ordered to pay $14,219.97 in restitution and a $100 Special Assessment. Trudie Lindsey, 57, of East St. Louis, Illinois, was also sentenced to 5 years of probation and ordered to pay $13,751 in restitution and a $100 Special Assessment.

The two women pleaded guilty to Embezzlement of Public Funds on July 11, 2014. 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.

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. U.S. 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 thieves who double dip.”

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