OAKLAND – William Michael Andrews was sentenced today to 12 months in prison, and ordered to pay $26,300 in restitution to the U.S. government after pleading guilty to theft of government property, announced United States Attorney Alex G. Tse and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Inspector General Special Agent in Charge James Wahleithner. The sentence was handed down by the Honorable James Donato, U.S. District Judge.
Andrews, 50, of Windsor, Calif., pleaded guilty on April 25, 2018. According to the plea agreement, from December 2015 until October 2016, Andrews used his position as a case-worker at an East Bay non-profit agency to acquire the personal information of homeless veterans. He then used that information to steal grant money from the VA and use it pay his personal expenses. Specifically, 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 to help homeless veterans get off the streets. In total, Andrews stole more than $26,000 in VA grant funds.
A federal grand jury indicted Andrews on February 8, 2018. He was charged with theft of government property, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 641, and aggravated identity theft. Pursuant to the guilty plea, Andrew pleaded guilty to the theft charge and the identity theft charge was dismissed.
Judge Donato also sentenced the defendant to a three-year period of supervised release and ordered him to pay restitution to the U.S. government in the amount of $26,300. The defendant will begin serving the sentence on November 16, 2018.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ross Weingarten is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Marina Ponomarchuk. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the VA Office of Inspector General, Criminal Investigations Division.