Illinois man accused of stealing federal benefits

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EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) _ A southwestern Illinois man is accused of stealing federal unemployment and disability benefits.

A federal indictment returned in East St. Louis against Dennis French alleges the 51-year-old Caseyville man stole the benefits from the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board from May 2009 through June 2012.

Authorities allege that French hid his employment status to wrongly receive occupational disability benefits.

He’s charged with a felony count of theft of government funds. Court documents do not detail how much money he is alleged to have stolen.

Online court records don’t show whether French has an attorney. A man who answered the telephone Sunday at a home listing for French hung up without commenting.

The felony charge is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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