Mason County Woman Pleads Guilty to Theft of Veterans Benefits
Defendant fraudulently spent over 34,000 dollars
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Brandi Moore entered a guilty plea to theft of federal benefits, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Moore, 38, of Gallipolis Ferry, Mason County, West Virginia faces up to 10 years of incarceration, a 250,000 dollar fine, three years of supervised release and a 100 dollar special assessment when she is scheduled to be sentenced on January 22, 2019. She will also be required to pay restitution back to the United States Treasury. United States Attorney Mike Stuart praised the work of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
“Despicable. Stealing veterans benefits,” United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “Our veterans have served our country honorably, made tremendous sacrifices and deserve every possible benefit. Those who steal veterans benefits must be prosecuted.”
Moore had a family member who was a United States Military Veteran. This veteran died on November 9, 2011. Moore did not report his death, and the veterans benefits continued to accrue in the designated bank account. Moore knew she was not entitled to receive or otherwise spend this family member’s money. From November 2011 through April 2013, Moore accessed the veteran’s bank account and began withdrawing money on 191 separate occasions. Primarily, Moore used an ATM card to make withdrawals, though she also admitted forging a name on at least one check constituting an endorsement. The total amount of loss to the United States Treasury was 34,393 dollars. On April 4, 2017, Moore gave a detailed statement to federal investigators admitting that she withdrew the veterans benefits using an ATM card and was not otherwise entitled to the money. She also admitted to the agents that she forged an endorsement on a check associated with the VA account.
Assistant United States Attorney Erik S. Goes and former Assistant United States Attorney Eric Bacaj handled the prosecution. Judge Robert C. Chambers presided over the hearing.