Former Whitman Police Sergeant Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Funds from Disabled Veterans
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
BOSTON – A former Whitman, Mass., police sergeant pleaded guilty today in connection with misappropriating funds from the accounts of disabled veterans while he was a fiduciary appointed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and for preparing false income tax returns for clients of his tax preparation business.
Glenn P. Pearson, 60, pleaded guilty today to wire fraud, misappropriation by a federal fiduciary, preparation of fraudulent tax returns and obstruction of the Internal Revenue Service. U.S. District Court Chief Judge Patti B. Saris scheduled sentencing for Sept. 19, 2017.
“Mr. Pearson abused his position as a fiduciary and took advantage of vulnerable members of our society,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Weinreb. “Our veterans deserve the best care, and we will hold accountable those who seek to profit at their expense.”
“Glenn Pearson took advantage of disabled military veterans who could not manage their own financial affairs, by diverting hundreds of thousands of dollars in VA payments to his personal benefit,” said Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg. “He then used his tax preparation business to generate more than $1.5 million in bogus refunds and obstructed IRS audits looking into the fraudulent returns he prepared. Today Pearson is held fully accountable for his abuse of trust and fraudulent conduct.”
“Mr. Pearson now finds himself on the opposite end of the very laws he was once sworn to uphold,” said Special Agent in Charge Harold H. Shaw of the FBI’s Boston Field Division. “He took advantage of his position as a fiduciary to steal thousands of dollars from disabled veterans. The FBI will do everything we can to protect citizens against fraud and stop those who steal from them.”
“The American tax system is designed to provide vital government services to our citizens, especially disabled veterans, who have paid the highest price for our freedom,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Kristina O’Connell of the IRS Criminal Investigation (CI). “Mr. Pearson took advantage of both, motivated by greed and his desired lifestyle. The IRS will use all lawful means to identify and prosecute those, like Pearson, who prepare false tax returns.”
“Pearson deliberately targeted our most vulnerable veterans – those who were unable to handle their own financial affairs,” said Donna L. Neves, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General, Northeast Field Office. “Fiduciary fraud, especially in this case of multiple victims, is considered a high priority and aggressively investigated by the VA Office of Inspector General because those veterans deserve protection, not deceit.”
From 2007 to 2012, Pearson was a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs-appointed fiduciary for eight disabled veterans. Pearson took advantage of that position by misappropriating and embezzling VA-issued benefit money out of the accounts of several veterans for whom he served.
Beginning in 2012, Pearson operated a tax preparation business called FTS Tax Services, through which he prepared false tax returns for clients for a fee. From 2012 through 2015, Pearson prepared numerous tax returns that included false credits and fictitious deductions in an effort to get his clients larger refunds than they were entitled to receive. When Pearson’s clients were audited by the IRS, Pearson took steps to obstruct the audits by making false statements to the IRS and preparing false documents for his clients to submit to the IRS during the audits.
The charge of wire fraud provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gain or loss to the victims; the charge of misappropriation of funds by a fiduciary provides for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gain or loss to the victims; preparing false tax returns provides for a sentence of three years in prison, one year of supervised release and a fine of $250,000; attempting to interfere with the administration of internal revenue laws provides for a sentence of no greater than three years in prison, one year of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. According to the terms of the plea agreement, Pearson will pay restitution to the victims, the VA and the IRS. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting U.S. Attorney Weinreb, Acting Assistant Attorney General Goldberg, FBI SAC Shaw, IRS-CI Acting SAC O’Connell and VA-OIG SAC Neves made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Vassili Thomadakis, of Weinreb’s Criminal Division, and Karen Kelly, Assistant Chief of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, are prosecuting the case.
Updated May 16, 2017