Former VA Employee Sentenced to 5 Years In Prison For Defrauding The Government Of Over $450,000
DUBLIN, GA – LORETTA SMITH, 41, of Glenwood, Georgia, was sentenced in last week by Senior U. S. District Court Judge Dudley H. Bowen to serve 5 years in prison for defrauding the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) through fraudulent worker’s compensation claims.
According to the evidence presented during the guilty plea and sentencing hearings, SMITH, while employed with the VA in Dublin as a nurse, submitted bogus worker’s compensation claims to the Department of Labor from 2009 through 2013. SMITH falsely claimed costs for travel which she did not make, and falsely claimed costs for medical treatment which she did not receive. As a result of her bogus claims to the Department of Labor, SMITH received more than $450,000 to which she was not entitled.
United States Attorney Edward Tarver stated, “This defendant, who was hired by the federal government to help those in need, chose, instead, to help herself to taxpayer money she wasn’t entitled to receive. This sentence sends this strong message to those who would lie and cheat to get taxpayer money: you can expect to spend years in a federal prison.”
Upon her release from prison, SMITH will serve 3 years of supervised release. Additionally, she was sentenced to pay $454,000 in restitution and a $454,000 forfeiture judgment.
The case was investigated by Special Agents with the Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General and the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, Office of Inspector General. Assistant U. S. Attorney Carlton Bourne prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.