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Justice News

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

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

South China Man Pleads Guilty To Stealing Veteran Death Benefits

Contact: James M. Moore
Assistant United States Attorney
Tel: (207) 945-0373

Bangor, Maine: United States Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II announced that Neil
Pelkey, 67, of South China, Maine, pled guilty yesterday to stealing over $53,000 worth of
Death and Indemnity Compensation benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

According to court records, Pelkey stole VA death benefits intended for his mother for
almost 4 years following her death. VA Investigators learned of her death from the Nationwide
Death Match Project, a computerized comparison of VA and Social Security Administration
records. Pelkey collected monthly benefits ranging from $1,154 to $1,215 from January 1, 2010
to September 1, 2013 and used them to pay living expenses.

Pelkey faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or both. He will be sentenced
after completion of a pre-sentence report by the United States Probation Office.

The investigation was conducted by the Office of Inspector General of the VA.

Updated January 26, 2015