July 2, 2014

Belleville, Fayetteville women plead guilty to Social Security fraud

Two St. Clair County women have pleaded guilty to theft of Social Security benefits.

Tara Star Johndrow, 30, of Belleville, and Amber Dawn Adams, 34, of Fayetteville, each admitted guilt to one count of theft of government funds Tuesday in federal court. They each face a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

"These cases are yet additional examples of the wide-spread fraud that plagues both state and federal programs that are in place to help those in our society who need that help the most," U.S. Attorney Stephen Wigginton said. "My office will continue to stand beside both federal and state agencies and law enforcement in taking every step necessary to find and prosecute those who steal from and continue to defraud these vital programs."

According to court records, Johndrow was accused of receiving $14,500 in Social Security benefits between August 2010 and August 2012 when she had a job but falsely claimed she could not work.

Adams was accused of taking more than $9,000 in survivor benefits intended for her child from March 2008 until August 2012, when the child did not live with her and she did not support the child.

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