Terri Ann Deneal, 51, of Harrisburg, was charged on Sept. 4 with mail fraud, in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury sitting in Benton, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced Wednesday.
The indictment charges that from Jan. 1, 2005, through May of 2011, Deneal executed a scheme to defraud Social Security Administration and Department of Veteran Affairs benefit recipients of approximately a half-million dollars. The fraud took place while Deneal was acting as a representative payee and fiduciary for federal aid recipients, who because of physical or mental ailments were unable to handle their own finances. The indictment further alleges that Deneal used the funds of these recipients to pay her own bills and expenses.
Mail fraud carries penalties of up to 20 years of imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000 and up to 3 years of supervised release to follow any incarceration.
An indictment is a formal charge against a defendant.
The investigation in this case was conducted by the Offices of Inspector General, Office of Investigations for the Social Security Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as the Carbondale Police Department.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ranley R. Killian.