WASHINGTON – Two defendants have been sentenced to prison terms for conspiring to defraud the United States and to commit mail fraud and bribery in connection with the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance Program (FEGLI), Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division announced today.
Judge Kollar-Kotelly of the U.S. District Court for the District of Colombia today sentenced Peter Turner to 33 months in prison and two years of supervised release. On Feb. 9, 2007, Kollar-Kotelly sentenced co-defendant LaTanya Andrews to 15 months in prison and two years of supervised release. The court also ordered the defendants jointly to pay $20,500 in restitution to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) for the loss suffered as a result of the scheme.
Andrews was a payroll technician for the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center (the DC VA Hospital), and Turner was a volunteer driver for the DC VA Hospital. The FEGLI program is a term life insurance program operated by OPM for federal employees, including employees of the DC VA Hospital. A federal jury convicted Turner and Andrews of conspiring to file a forged FEGLI form falsely designating Turner as a life-insurance beneficiary for a seriously-ill employee of the DC VA Hospital in that employee’s official personnel folder. Turner then filed a fraudulent claim when the employee died, and obtained payment from the FEGLI program of approximately $20,500, funds that should have been paid to the deceased employee’s parents.
The jury further found that Andrews used her official position within the payroll office of the DC VA Hospital to access the official personnel folder of the deceased employee and cause the false beneficiary form to be placed in that folder. In return for Andrew’s assistance in the scheme, Turner paid her $1,000 from the proceeds of his fraudulent claim.
The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Daniel A. Petalas and Ann C. Brickley of the Public Integrity Section, headed by William M. Welch II, Chief.
The case was investigated jointly by OPM’s Office of the Inspector General, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of the Inspector General.