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Teaneck Woman Charged with Theft for Claiming Deceased Brother's Disability Benefits


Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella announced the arrest of Wanda Lynn Sermon, 53, of Teaneck on a charge of theft by deception. 

According to Prosecutor Musella, on Tuesday, June 22, detectives from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Financial Crimes Unit received information on Sermon and the unauthorized usage of Social Security disability benefit funds issued to a deceased person. 

An investigation revealed that Sermon failed to notify the Social Security Administration of her brother’s death and instead assumed control of his bank account and continued to access Social Security disability benefit funds intended for her deceased brother for approximately sixteen months. 

The investigation found that over this period, Sermon continually accessed and used for her own benefit $20,438 in disability funds to which she was not entitled.

According to Prosecutor Musella, on Tuesday, November 30, Sermon was arrested and charged with one count of third-degree theft by deception. Sermon was released pending a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack.