South China Man Pleads Guilty To Stealing Veteran Death Benefits
Contact: James M. Moore
Assistant United States Attorney
Tel: (207) 945-0373
Bangor, Maine: United States Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II announced that Neil
Pelkey, 67, of South China, Maine, pled guilty yesterday to stealing over $53,000 worth of
Death and Indemnity Compensation benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
According to court records, Pelkey stole VA death benefits intended for his mother for
almost 4 years following her death. VA Investigators learned of her death from the Nationwide
Death Match Project, a computerized comparison of VA and Social Security Administration
records. Pelkey collected monthly benefits ranging from $1,154 to $1,215 from January 1, 2010
to September 1, 2013 and used them to pay living expenses.
Pelkey faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or both. He will be sentenced
after completion of a pre-sentence report by the United States Probation Office.
The investigation was conducted by the Office of Inspector General of the VA.