The federal grand jury in East St. Louis on Wednesday returned indictments against 14 individuals accused of embezzling public funds.
The money, totaling $351,005, was stolen by defrauding the Illinois and Missouri Departments of Employment Security.
"Cheating on unemployment compensation is a crime," said U.S. Attorney Stephen R. Wigginton. "Those who defraud the unemployment insurance program undermine support for an important public program and hurt and insult every law-abiding citizen of Southern Illinois. No person is above the law, thus I will continue my efforts to see that persons who defraud the United States of America, and all of us, are made to face justice."
The following people are accused of lying to obtain unemployment benefits: Elizabeth Asbury, 41, of Hartford; Clarence Budde III, 41, of New Baden; Gary Cuddy, 31, of Olney; Sheila Davison, 45, of Cahokia; Steven Gordon, 39, of Effingham; Michael Hill, 48, of East St. Louis; Trudie Lindsey, 56, of East St. Louis; Kenneth Loving, 42, of East St. Louis; Melonetria McCallum, 37, of O'Fallon; Robert Pickett, 43, of Venice; Quintin Redd, 46, of Fairview Heights; Regina Skjerseth, 43, of Sage Creek; Rickey Watson, 48, of Belleville; and Nicholas Zezoff, 41, of Granite City.
These cases were investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Illinois Department of Employment Security and the Missouri Division of Employment Security, and are being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Stuart J. Zander.