Federal grand jury indicts two Ferriday residents, Bossier City woman for Veterans Affairs benefits fraud
SHREVEPORT, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that a federal grand jury indicted a Ferriday couple for hiding income in order to receive more than $197,000 in veterans benefits and a Bossier City woman for stealing veterans’ benefits and lying about the income during bankruptcy proceedings.
Alfred Lewis Jr., 67, and Rose M. Lewis, 63, of both of Ferriday, La., were charged by a federal grand jury with one count of conspiracy to commit theft of government funds and one count of theft of government funds. According to the indictment, from January 2004 until November 2013 the Lewis couple conspired to take approximately $197,784 in Veterans Affairs benefits. In July of 2003, the defendants submitted an application to the Department of Veterans Affairs for pension benefits without listing Rose Lewis’ income. The addition of Rose Lewis’ income, which was more than $54,000 in 2008 and 2009, would have made them ineligible to receive the Veterans Affairs benefits.
A federal grand jury also charged Gloria Lynn Perry, 65, of Bossier City, La., in a separate indictment with one count of theft of government funds and one count of false statement in a bankruptcy matter. According to the indictment, Perry illegally received Veterans Affairs benefits on behalf of her mother from April 1, 2008 through July 1, 2014. Her mother had died in February of 2008. Perry also filed for bankruptcy in 2014. On September 5, 2014, she falsely stated on bankruptcy documents that her income other than employment in the past two years was $7,950 in 2013 and $5,967 in 2014. The truth was she obtained at least $12,000 in 2013 and at least $7,000 in 2014 in Veterans Affairs benefits.
If convicted, all three defendants face up to 10 years in prison for the theft count.
The Lewises face up to five years in prison for the conspiracy count, and Perry faces up to five years in prison for the bankruptcy count. They also face three years of supervised release, restitution and a $250,000 fine.
The Veterans Affairs-Office of Inspector General investigated the cases. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cytheria Jernigan is prosecuting the cases.
An indictment is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.