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Wisconsin woman could have fraud charge reinstated

  • Associated Press
  • April 16, 2014 - 10:55 AM

STEVENS POINT, Wis. — A Portage County woman who'd been found unfit for trial on allegations of Social Security theft could have the charges reinstated after prosecutors thought she seemed mentally fit at her husband's sentencing on similar charges this week.

Dolores Disher, 71, was accused with her husband and brother of cashing her mother's Social Security checks for years. Marie Jost would be more than 100 years old if she were still alive, but authorities now suspect she died about 30 years ago.

Charges against Disher were dropped in June after she suffered a stroke while in jail. But prosecutors kept an eye on her Tuesday when her husband was sentenced, the Stevens Point Journal Media reported (http://spjour.nl/1hUPDme ).

Dolores Disher spoke in a normal manner and recognized one of the court deputies before the sentencing, prosecutor Veronica Isherwood said. That made her question whether Disher was still unfit to stand trial.

Isherwood said she planned to file a motion to have Dolores Disher re-evaluated for mental competency. If doctors believe Disher could be competent to assist in her own defense, prosecutors may reinstate charges.

Stephen W. Sawyer, the defense attorney who initially represented Dolores Disher, did not immediately return a message Wednesday.

Dolores Disher was attending the sentencing of 73-year-old Ronald Disher, who had pleaded no contest to be a party to theft. He was sentenced to 3 years, 9 months in prison on that charge. He was also sentenced to another nine months in a separate case after a jury convicted him of attacking a Social Security Administration agent with a metal file.

Ronald Disher's defense attorney, Gary Kryshak, declined to comment Wednesday.

A Social Security agent told investigators Jost hadn't used her Medicare benefits since 1980 when she had a stroke. The agent said Jost had been sent Social Security payments of more than $175,000 since she'd made a Medicaid claim.

Prosecutors say the Social Security checks were endorsed with an X, along with the printed names of Charles and Theodore Jost, who are Dolores Disher's brothers.

Charles Jost was also charged with Social Security theft. He was found not guilty by reason of mental defect and turned over to the state for mental-health treatment. Theodore Jost's whereabouts have been unknown for years.

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