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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Former Attorney Pleads Guilty to Veteran’s Benefits Fraud

BOSTON – A former Massachusetts attorney pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Boston in connection with a scheme to defraud a veteran.  

Matthew J. McCarthy, 48, of Lowell, Mass., pleaded guilty to an Information charging him with one count of theft of public money.  U.S. District Court Judge Dennis F. Saylor  IV scheduled sentencing for Nov. 22, 2016. 

In early 2000, McCarthy, an attorney at the time, was appointed as a guardian for a 64-year old veteran.  Between October 2009 and March 2011, McCarthy appropriated the benefits deposited into the veteran’s bank account by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs by writing checks to himself from the veteran’s bank account and to third parties, endorsing those checks, cashing them, and appropriating the money.  In total, McCarthy appropriated about $36,000.

The charging statute provides a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Jeffrey Hughes, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S.  Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of the Inspector General, Northeast Field Office, made the announcement today.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Giselle J. Joffre of Ortiz’s Major Crimes Unit.

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Updated August 31, 2016