Jury Finds Army Veteran Guilty Of Theft Of Nearly $300,000 And Making A False Statement
Jacksonville, FL – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that a federal jury has found Crystel Lee Riedling (44, Lake City) guilty of theft of government property and making a false statement. She faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in federal prison. Her sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 11, 2017. Riedling was indicted on February 18, 2016.
According to evidence presented at trial, Riedling, a U.S. Army veteran, received almost $300,000 in disability benefits over the past five to six years. She began receiving the benefits after claiming that she was completely unable to use her right arm. In reality, Riedling had use of her right arm and was seen using it. Two doctors testified that Riedling was malingering and exaggerating her injuries. Statements presented at trial also included Riedling’s admission that she knew that receiving these benefits was “completely wrong.” The jury also found Riedling guilty of making false statements to the United States after she told an investigator that she was totally and permanently disabled.
This case was investigated by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs – Office of Inspector General, the Social Security Administration - Office of the Inspector General, and the U.S. Department Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jason Mehta.