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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maine

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 26, 2014

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
(“VA”).

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.

Updated January 26, 2015