Windsor Man Charged With Theft Of Government Property And Aggravated Identity Theft In Connection With VA Grant Fraud
OAKLAND – William Michael Andrews made an initial appearance in federal court this morning after a federal grand jury indicted him with theft of government property and aggravated identity theft, announced Acting United States Attorney Alex G. Tse and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Inspector General Special Agent in Charge James Wahleithner.
According to the indictment, Andrews, 50, of Windsor, California, is alleged to have used his position as a case-worker at an East Bay non-profit agency to acquire the personal information of homeless veterans to pay his personal expenses. The indictment alleges Andrews used the veterans’ personal information, including their social security numbers, to illegally direct VA grant money to his landlord to pay his own rent, rather than its intended purpose of paying for short-term rental apartments for homeless veterans. In total, Andrews allegedly stole more than $26,000 in VA grant funds. Andrews was charged in the indictment with one count of theft of government property, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 641, and one count of aggravated identity theft, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028A.
Andrews was arrested in San Francisco and made his initial appearance this morning in federal court before Kandis A. Westmore, U.S. Magistrate Judge, in Oakland. Andrews was released on an unsecured $50,000 bond. Andrews’ next scheduled appearance is at 10:30 AM on March 14, 2018, for an appearance before the Honorable James Donato, U.S. District Judge.
An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum statutory sentence of ten years in prison, plus a fine and restitution for the violation of 18 U.S.C. § 641. In addition, the defendant faces a mandatory minimum of two years in prison to be served consecutive to any other prison term imposed as well as a maximum $250,000 if convicted of the 18 U.S.C. § 1028A violation. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ross Weingarten is prosecuting the case. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the VA Office of Inspector General, Criminal Investigations Division.