Citrus County Man Pleads Guilty To Receiving Stolen Benefit Payments From The Department Of Veterans Affairs
Jacksonville, FL – Acting United States Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow announces the return of a two-count federal indictment charging Jose Calderon-Fuentes (62, Jacksonville) with stealing more than $538,000 in government property, specifically veterans’ disability benefits. The indictment notifies Calderon-Fuentes that the government intends to forfeit the alleged proceeds of the fraud.
The indictment alleges that from October 1997 through April 2013, Calderon-Fuentes stole veterans’ disability benefits by overstating the extent of his vision disability. Calderon-Fuentes claimed that he was unable to see any “better than hand motion or light perception,” when, in reality, he knew that statement was false. The indictment further alleges that he lied when interviewed by an investigator with the Department of Veterans Affairs - Office of Inspector General.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jason Mehta.