EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — Federal officials say a 54-year-old woman from Cahokia has been sentenced to three months in prison and to payback more than $70,000 she’s accused of stealing in pension benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Mary Lee Owns must also serve three years of supervised release after prison.
Prosecutors say she received $70,260 from November through April of last year. She pleaded guilty in June to theft of government funds.

She was sentenced in federal court in East St. Louis on Friday.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Owens’ attorney, Robert Elovitz, brought up several factors when asking for a lighter prison sentence. That included her clean record and the depression and anxiety she suffered after the death of her husband.

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