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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Detroit Man Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for Impersonating Deceased Relatives and Stealing More than $800,000 in Government Benefits

A Detroit man was sentenced yesterday to twenty-four months in prison for stealing more than eight hundred thousand dollars from the federal government U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider announced.

Schneider was joined in the announcement by Thomas W. South, Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Investigations, Office of Personnel Management’s Office of the Inspector General; and Special Agent in Charge Gregg Hirstein, Department Veterans Affairs Office of the Inspector General.

Kendrick Allen Gills, 64, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Tarnow in Detroit, Michigan.  After the conclusion of his prison term, Gills must also spend three years on supervised release.  The Court further ordered Gills to pay full restitution to the government.

Gill’s relative Jack Farmer passed away sometime in 2004.  At that time, Farmer was receiving a federal pension from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and because OPM was unaware of his death, OPM continued to issue monthly Treasury checks in Farmer’s name.  The erroneous payments continued for approximately 14 years—$566,547.00 in total.  Gills unlawfully converted these payments to his own use, primarily making electronic withdrawals from their joint bank account, but also forging Farmer’s signature on at least one check.  Significantly, Gills concealed Farmer’s death by submitting multiple forms to the Office of Personnel Management on Farmer’s behalf, making it look as though Farmer was still alive and living with Gills. 

During the same period, Gills also unlawfully retained $245,969.24 in payments made to another deceased relative by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

This case was investigated by special agents from OPM-OIG, with the assistance of special agents from VA-OIG, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan A. Particka.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated December 4, 2019