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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Idaho

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Chubbuck Man Sentenced for Wire Fraud and Theft of Government Funds

POCATELLO - Travis John Attanasio, 54, of Chubbuck, Idaho, was sentenced today in United States District Court to 18 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced.  Senior U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge also ordered Attanasio to pay $259,563 in restitution.  He pleaded guilty to the charges on December 1, 2015.

According to court proceedings, Attanasio admitted that between June 29, 2012, and October 30, 2014, he defrauded a disabled veteran and the federal government of $259,563.12.  Attanasio volunteered to serve as the fiduciary for the veteran, and instead of conserving the victim’s funds and monthly benefits from the Veterans Affairs, he spent them at various retail and online vendors.  The purchases included gold and silver coins, guns, and a trailer.  In addition, Attanasio requested and received a portion of the victim’s conserved Social Security funds that he subsequently spent.  During the time Attanasio received and spent the funds, he knew that the victim was a disabled veteran living in a state veteran’s home.

The case was jointly investigated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General and the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General with help from the Pocatello Police Department.  The case was being prosecuted by a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney as part of a partnership venture between the Social Security Administration Office of General Counsel and the United States Attorney’s Office to prosecute social security fraud.

Topic(s): 
StopFraud
Component(s): 
Updated March 16, 2016