Charges have been filed against an Alton woman who allegedly bilked taxpayers out of more than $150,000 in benefits. 37-year-old Ebony J. Smith is charged with two counts of theft of government funds and two counts of false statement. She was indicted by a federal grand jury in January, and charged late last week.
According to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for southern Illinois, between November 2001 and November 2011, Smith illegally received HUD rent subsidy vouchers totalling $88,000 for a home she had ownership interest in but was not entitled to rent subsidies. The charges also state during the same time period, Smith stole $72,000 in supplemental social security income while also receiving the unreported HUD vouchers. The charges also allege she made false statements on federal applications regarding her ownership in the property and what other benefits she was receiving. She faces up to 40 years in prison and significant fines if she is found guilty.