East Alton Woman Charged With Stealing Disabled Daughter’s Social Security Funds

East Alton Woman Charged With Stealing Disabled Daughter’s Social Security Funds

A federal grand jury in East St. Louis, Illinois, has returned a 21-count indictment charging Melissa D. Wasylak, 48, of East Alton, with stealing Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) funds that were intended for her disabled daughter. The indictment also charges Wasylak with wire fraud and making false statements on forms submitted to the Social Security Administration (“SSA”). The SSA administers the SSI program, which provides a minimum level of income to aged, blind, and disabled individuals with limited resources. For disabled children, SSI benefits are paid to a representative payee, who is responsible for handling the funds and reporting to the SSA. Federal law requires that all SSI funds must be used for the benefit of the disabled child.

Wasylak applied for her disabled daughter to receive SSI benefits and was appointed as her daughter’s representative payee. According to the indictment, in 2008, Wasylak’s daughter stopped living with her and went to live with Wasylak’s ex-husband. Despite this fact, Wasylak continued to receive her daughter’s SSI funds. The indictment charges that Wasylak did not use those funds for her daughter’s expenses, but instead used the SSI money to pay her own personal expenses. This allegedly continued until the situation was reported to the SSA in May of 2019.

Wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. The maximum punishment for theft of government funds is 10 years’ imprisonment. Making a false statement on a Social Security form carries a five-year statutory maximum term of imprisonment. Each of the charges comes with a possible fine of up to $250,000, and Wasylak could also be ordered to pay restitution.

An indictment is merely a  formal charge against a  defendant.  Under the law,  the defendant is presumed to be innocent of the charges until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to the satisfaction of a jury.

Wasylak is scheduled to be arraigned by United States Magistrate Judge Gilbert C. Sison on Monday, April 5, 2021, at 10:00 a.m., at the federal courthouse in East St. Louis.

The investigation was conducted by the SSA – Office of the Inspector General. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Scott A. Verseman.

Senior editor of the Chicago Morning Star

Related Posts
Former Williamson County Mail Carrier Sentenced for Stealing Rebate Checks
Brittany Freeman, 27, of Johnston City, Illinois (Williamson County), was sentenced this week to three
Russia faces allegation of attempting to steal COVID-19 vaccine information
Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America claimed that the hackers working
Nearly Six Years Imprisonment for Former Chicago Police Officer
A former Chicago Police Officer has been sentenced to nearly six years in federal prison
Stealing Mail Charges for Postal Employee
27-year old Brittany Freeman of Johnston City, Illinois (Williamson County) has been charged with four
Three Charged for Attempting to Steel from Aurora ATM
Three men are facing the law as they have been charged in federal court for
Former president of not-for-profit organization indicted for stealing $400000 million from charity
Carol Babbitt, the former president of a not-for-profit organization, has been indicted on the charges
Court sentences Chicago pharmacy technician five years in prison for stealing opioids
Elizabeth Cruz, a former Chicago pharmacy technician, has been sentenced to five years in prison
4 charged in hit-and-run, 1 still at large
Four men and a teenage boy are facing trouble with the law as they are
Chicago is getting closer to eliminating tip pay
In Chicago, servers who depend mostly on gratuities may disappear by the end of the
As emotions grow, Democrats will debate in the New Hampshire primary
In the midst of an internal party conflict that has heightened tensions between members and