Mason County Woman Sentenced for Theft of Veterans Benefits
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A Mason County woman was sentenced today to three months federal incarceration to be followed by three years of supervised release, with the first six months of supervised release to be served at an in-patient substance abuse treatment center, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Brandi Moore, 39, of Gallipolis Ferry, previously pled guilty to an indictment on September 24, 2018 charging her with felony offense of theft of government benefits. She was also ordered to pay back $34,000 for her theft of government benefits. The investigation was the result of a joint effort by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs-Office of Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
“Sadly, stealing a deceased relative’s government benefits happens far too often,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “This is nothing short of theft of government benefits and the taxpayers money. We take these dishonest and dishonorable cases seriously and we prosecute every case to the fullest extent of the law. Stealing government benefits will land you in federal prison and will result in the loss of any federal benefits for the rest of your life.”
Moore admitted that she 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 any of this money. From November 2011 through April 2013, Moore accessed the veteran’s bank account and began making cash withdraws on 191 separate occasions. Primarily, Ms. Moore used an ATM card to make the withdrawals, though she also admitted forging a name on at least one check constituting an endorsement. The total loss to the United States Treasury was $34,393. On April 4, 2017, Moore gave a detailed statement to federal investigators admitting she withdrew the money and was not entitled to do so.
United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers imposed the sentence. Assistant United States Attorney Erik S. Goes handled the prosecution.
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