Dublin, GA – LORETTA SMITH, 41, of Glenwood, Georgia, pled guilty last week before Senior District Court Judge Dudley H. Bowen to defrauding the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) through fraudulent worker’s compensation claims.
According to the evidence presented during the guilty plea, SMITH, while employed with the VA, submitted bogus worker’s compensation claims to the Department of Labor from 2009 through 2013. SMITH falsely claimed costs for travel which she did not make, and falsely claimed costs for medical treatment which she did not receive. As a result of her bogus claims to the Department of Labor, Smith received more than $460,000 to which she was not entitled.
United States Attorney Edward Tarver stated, “This defendant, who was hired by the federal government to help those in need, chose, instead, to help herself to taxpayer money she wasn’t entitled to receive. Theft of taxpayer money by a federal employee is an abuse of trust and will not be tolerated.”
Monty Stokes, Special Agent in Charge, U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General, said, “We are disappointed in Smith’s betrayal of public trust. She was hired to help veterans, but allegedly chose to cheat the system for her own personal gain. This has been a successful team effort in identifying, investigating, and prosecuting this matter.”
SMITH faces up to 20 years in federal prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and 5 years supervised release. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the U. S. Probation Office conducts a presentence investigation. After her guilty plea, SMITH was ordered into custody by Senior Judge Bowen.
The case was investigated by the Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General. Assistant U. S. Attorney Carlton Bourne is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States. For additional questions, please contact James D. Durham, First Assistant United States Attorney at (912) 201-2547.