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Cahokia woman stole pension benefits from Department of Veterans Affairs

EAST ST. LOUIS – A Cahokia woman was sentenced Friday for her role in a federal pension benefits fraud case.

U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois Stephen R. Wigginton said Mary Lee Owens, 54, was sentenced on charges that she stole pension benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Owens admitted that from November 2004 through April 2013, she fraudulently obtained $70,260 from the department.

The district court sentenced Owens to three months imprisonment, three years of supervised release to follow imprisonment, with the first six months to be in home detention, to pay restitution of $70,260 to Department of Veterans Affairs, and to pay a special assessment of $100.

The case was investigated by agents of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Liam Coonan.

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