The U.S. attorney's office in Chicago has accused ten area residents of stealing a combined $1.27 million in separate Social Security fraud cases.
Prosecutors sometimes announce charges in separate cases to highlight the problem of individuals allegedly seeking to fraudulently obtain federal benefits.
In a Monday statement, prosecutors said that in six of the cases the defendants used false identities. Others continued receiving benefits from accounts of beneficiaries they supposedly knew were dead, authorities allege.
In the false identity cases, some of the defendants secured benefits by claiming they were disabled while simultaneously earning wages at a job using a different identity, authorities allege.
Each defendant faces a maximum 10-year prison term and a maximum $250,000 fine.
According to a news release on the U.S. attorney's office website, those charged were:
• David Bailog, also known as "David Conti" and "David Bailey," 45, of Chicago.
• Sharia Bryant, a/k/a "Sharia Bailey," 64, of Chicago.
• Imogene Davis, a/k/a "Imogene Neely," 63, of Chicago.
• Ronnie Davis, a/k/a "Ronnie Wofford," 67, of Chicago.
• Sherri Marshall, a/k/a "Sherri Williams," 49, of Chicago.
• Patricia McQueen, 58, of Chicago.
• Betsy Minor, 63, of Oak Lawn.
• Simonia Patterson, 39, of Chicago.
• Lein Scott, a/k/a "Barry Scott," 64, of Chicago.
• Shirley Simmons, 50, of Chicago.