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Alton woman allegedly cashed $15,601 worth of her dead mother’s social security checks

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An Alton woman has been indicted in federal court on charges she cashed her deceased mother’s social security checks.

Mia Lynn Cousett, 32, of Alton, was charged with 12 counts of theft of government funds and one count of aggravated identity theft, according to the United States Attorney’s office in the Southern District of Illinois.

The indictment alleges Cousett cashed the social security checks payable to her mother, who died in 2017. Cousett used the funds for her own expenses and in total stole $15,601, according to a release from the Department of Justice.

She allegedly used her mother’s driver’s license number to conceal and perpetuate the thefts, the DOJ said.

Cousett could face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine up to $250,000 and possible restitution. A mandatory sentence of two years of imprisonment is carried with any aggravated identity theft charge, the DOJ said in its release.

She will be arranged June 5, at 10 a.m. at the Federal Courthouse in East. St. Louis.

The investigation was conducted by agents with the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General,the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Alton Police Department.

Kavahn Mansouri covers government accountability for the Belleville News-Democrat, holding officials and institutions accountable and tracking how taxpayer money is spent.

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