East Alton woman sentenced for stealing disabled daughter’s Social Security benefits

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EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – An Illinois woman has been sentenced to more than a year in federal prison for stealing her daughter’s Social Security disability benefits.

Melissa D. Wasylak, of East Alton, was indicted in March on 21-counts related to collecting Social Security benefits. She was also hit with wire fraud charges and making false statements.

According to the indictment, Wasylak had become payee of her daughter’s benefits but did not notify Social Security Administration when her daughter was no longer in her care.

The indictment claims that in 2008, Wasylak’s daughter went to live with her ex-husband. She continued to receive payments on her daughter’s behalf until the SSA found out in May 2019.

None of the benefit payments Wasylak’s received were paid to her ex-husband or her daughter.

In addition to the prison term, Wasylak must serve two years of probation upon her release. She was also ordered to pay more than $58,000 in restitution to the SSA.

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