Crime and Courts

NJ Woman Busted for Stealing $20K in Dead Brother's Disability Payments: Officials

Wanda Lynn Sermon, 55, faces a single charge of theft by deception

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A 55-year-old single home healthcare worker from New Jersey has been arrested on a theft by deception charge for allegedly stealing her dead brother's disability payments for more than a year, prosecutors in Bergen County said Wednesday.

The arrest of Teaneck's Wanda Lynn Sermon stems from a months-long investigation launched in late June when financial crimes detectives with the Bergen County prosecutor's office got word she was allegedly illegally using Social Security disability benefit funds issued to her dead brother.

Prosecutors allege Sermon failed to notify the Social Security Administration of her brother's death and instead assumed control of his bank account, continuing to access nearly $21,000 in disability funds intended for him for about 16 months.

Sermon was taken into custody Tuesday and released pending a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack. Attorney information for her wasn't immediately clear.

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