VA Employee Charged With Theft of Government Funds
ATLANTA - Zerry Feaster, a/k/a Zerry Travis, a/k/a Zerry West has been arraigned on federal charges of theft of government funds and making false statements. Feaster was indicted by a federal grand jury on December 17, 2013.
“This defendant is charged with abusing her position with the VA by repeatedly using her government credit card to steal over $80,000,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “Money intended to support the men and women who have served our country was instead used by the defendant for gambling and at luxury stores.”
Monty Stokes, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General, said “We are disappointed in Feaster’s alleged betrayal of public trust. She was hired to help veterans, but allegedly elected to abuse her position for her own personal gain. We are committed to safeguarding VA programs and resources to ensure veterans are afforded the care they have earned.”
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges, and other information presented in court: Feaster was employed as a secretary in the Police Services division at the Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Atlanta. From February 2010 through February 2012, Feaster allegedly engaged in a scheme to steal over $80,000 from the VA by misusing her government-issued credit card. The credit card was supposed to be used to purchase office supplies and other equipment for the Police Services division. Feaster instead allegedly misused her government credit card to purchase pre-paid gift cards, which she then used to buy personal items, such as luxury accessories and jewelry at stores such as Coach and Tiffany & Co., as well as to gamble. Feaster attempted to hide the gift card purchases by creating and submitting fake purchase orders to the VA, falsely claiming that she was using the government credit card to buy office supplies and equipment for Police Services.
The indictment charges Zerry Feaster, 45, of Ellenwood, Ga., with seven counts of theft of government funds and five counts of false statements. Each theft of government funds count carries a maximum sentence of ten years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Each false statement count carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. In determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.
Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
This case is being investigated by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General.
Assistant United States Attorneys Mary L. Webb and Ryan Scott Ferber are prosecuting the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the home page for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division is http://www.justice.gov/usao/gan/.