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Trio indicted for defrauding Social Security Administration

Three St. Clair County women were indicted this week on counts 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 Wednesday, 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 three years of supervised release to follow any period of incarceration.

Stephen R, Wigginton, United States attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, said Thursday the indictments were returned by a federal grand jury sitting in East St. Louis.

The indictment against Russell alleged that between September of 2006 and March 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 2008 and August 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 2010 and August 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.

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.

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