Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that on September 27, 2012, Lawanda Lewis, 51 of East St. Louis, Illinois, pled guilty to Theft of Government Funds as charged in a one count indictment returned on July 17, 2012. Theft of Government Funds carries a statutory maximum possible punishment of up to ten years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, a period of supervised release of up to three years, and the payment of a $100.00 special assessment. Sentencing is scheduled for January 11, 2013, at 11:00 a.m.
During her plea, Lewis admitted that she had fraudulently taken actions to continue receiving her deceased mother’s social security benefits knowing that she was not entitled to receive those funds. Lewis admitted receiving $22,758.00 in social security payments from February of 2009 through September of 2010, that were intended for her mother.
The investigation was conducted by the Social Security Administration’s Office of Inspector General and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ranley