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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Jersey

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Essex County, New Jersey, Man Admits Defrauding Veterans Affair

NEWARK, N.J. – An Essex County, New Jersey man today admitted he defrauded the Department of Veterans Affairs of over $150,000 in disability benefits over a 13-year period, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Paul Tillson, 49, of Bloomfield, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi in Newark federal court to an indictment charging him with embezzlement of funds from the United States.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From July 1991 through January 1992, Tillson served as an administrative clerk in the U.S. Army in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. From November 2000 through July 2013, Tillson received $150,164 in disability benefits based on his claims of combat related injuries. Through an investigation by the Department of Veterans Affairs, it was determined that Tillson did not serve in a combat function or engage in combat during his tour of duty overseas, which commenced after cease-fire terms had been accepted by Iraq. Tillson also acknowledged that he falsified information related to his alleged combat stressors. 

The charge of embezzlement of funds from the United States carries a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 16, 2015.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General, Criminal Investigation Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey G. Hughes, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas S. Kearney of the U.S. Attorney’s Office General Crimes Unit in Newark.

Defense counsel: Patrick McMahon Esq., Newark

Press Release Number: 
Updated September 15, 2015