VIRGINIA WOMAN CHARGED WITH THEFT OF PUBLIC FUNDS
BOSTON, Mass. - A Virginia woman was charged today in federal court with stealing annuity payments issued by the United States Office of Personnel Management.
VENUS VALIERY HAMMACK, 55, of Mount Jackson, Virginia, was charged in an Information with one count of theft of public funds.
The Information alleges that Hammack’s father received an annuity through the Civil Service Retirement System prior to his death in August 1999. Hammack, who was ineligible to receive survivor benefits from the federal government, never notified the United States Office of Personnel Management of her father's death. Instead, Hammack fraudulently caused a verification form to be completed, forging her father’s name, in order to continue receiving payments after his death. As a result, monthly annuity payments intended for Hammack's father continued to be sent to an account Hammack controlled. From September 1999 through September 2009, approximately 121 annuity payments totaling $314,744 were sent by electronic funds transfers into the account Hammack controlled.
If convicted, Hammack faces up to10 years imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, Drew Grimm, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Office of Personnel Management, Office of the Inspector General, Eastern Operations, and Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan M. DiSantis of Ortiz's Economic Crimes Unit.
The details contained in the Information are allegations. The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.