St. Cloud Man Pleads Guilty To Stealing Veteran Benefits
MINNEAPOLIS— Earlier today in federal court, a 52-year-old man from St. Cloud
pleaded guilty to stealing approximately $54,083 in veterans’ benefits, specifically benefits paid
to the surviving spouses of veterans who died in military action. Mitchell George Pederson
pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government funds. Pederson, who was indicted on
August 17, 2011, entered his plea before United States District Court Judge Joan N. Ericksen.
In his plea agreement, Pederson admitted that from June 1, 2006, through June 1, 2010, he
stole Dependency and Indemnity Compensation benefits. Those benefits are paid to surviving
spouses of veterans who died in military action who have not remarried and surviving spouses
who have remarried but are at least 57 years of age. The benefits were being paid to Pederson’s
mother, who died in 2004. The benefits should have been terminated upon her death, but
Pederson continued to deposit them into his account.
For his crime, Pederson faces a potential maximum penalty of ten years in prison. Judge
Ericksen will determine his sentence at a future hearing, yet to be scheduled. This case is the
result of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs-Office of Inspector
General and Minnesota Financial Crimes Task Force. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S.
Attorney Kevin S. Ueland.