Marion County woman pleads guilty to theft of government money, will be sentenced July 25

Ronda Oswalt

Ronda Oswalt

ST. LOUIS – A Missouri woman on Tuesday admitted taking more than $75,000 in retirement benefits to which she was not entitled after the death of her mother-in-law.

Ronda G. Oswalt, 58, of Marion County, near Hannibal, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in St. Louis to one felony count of theft of government money.

As part of her guilty plea, Oswalt admitted she failed to notify the U.S. Office of Personnel Management about the death of her mother-in-law in December 2018. After the death, federal retirement benefits continued to be automatically deposited into her mother-in-law’s credit union account. Oswalt admitted using that money to cover personal expenses, including by writing checks to herself and paying personal bills. In total, Oswalt took $75,734 in federal retirement benefits between December 2018 and November 2021 to which she was not entitled, her guilty plea says.

Oswalt is scheduled to be sentenced July 25. The theft charge is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, or both prison and a fine.

The Office of Personnel Management Office of Inspector General investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Ladendorf is prosecuting the case.

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