Raleigh, N.C. – A Raeford, NC woman was sentenced today to 12 months and a day imprisonment and ordered to pay $90,003 in restitution for committing wire fraud involving an elderly veteran in her care. On July 6, 2021, McNeill pled guilty to the charge.
According to court documents, Tracey McNeill, 51 years old, between February 2015 and February 2017, fraudulently obtained VA and OPM benefits by executing a power of attorney (POA) over a disabled veteran, W.R., who served in the U.S. Army, and worked for the U.S. Postal Service for 41 years. The investigation revealed that McNeill arranged for the victim, who had dementia, to move into her home in February 2015, and then directed the VA and OPM to deposit W.R’s benefits into McNeill’s bank account between April, 2015, and December 2016. W.R. passed away on December 6, 2016. In total, OPM deposited $61,318, and the VA deposited $11,151 into her account. A financial analysis showed that most of the funds were spent on McNeill’s personal expenses, including rent, utilities, credit card payments, and personal purchases. Further, McNeill completed Beneficiary forms listing herself as the beneficiary of the victim’s retirement and life insurance benefits. OPM disbursed W.R.’s life insurance proceeds in the amount of $17,533 to McNeill.
G. Norman Acker, III, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge James C. Dever, III. The Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General (VA-OIG) and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s Office of Inspector General (OPM-OIG) assisted in this investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ethan Ontjes is prosecuting the case.
Related court documents and information are located on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:20-cr-000474-D.