Federal jury finds Ball man guilty of stealing more than $100,000 in Veterans Affairs benefits
ALEXANDRIA, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that a federal jury found a Ball man guilty of stealing more than $100,000 in Veterans Affairs benefits from a deceased woman’s bank account.
Tracy Marler, 51, of Ball, La., was found guilty of one count of theft of government property. United States District Judge Dee D. Drell presided over the trial, which took place Monday and ended today with the jury deliberating for 20 minutes. Evidence admitted at trial revealed that from February 25, 2008 until April 30, 2014, Marler withdrew $100,610.57 from a deceased woman’s account. The woman was receiving the benefits on behalf of her deceased husband who had served in the U.S. armed forces. Marler had a joint bank account with the woman. After she died in February of 2008, he continued to receive her Veterans Affairs benefit payments to which he was not entitled. Marler was a friend of the deceased woman. He provided care, which included running errands, managing finances and maintaining her home.
Marley faces 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, restitution and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing has been set for March 17, 2017.
The Veterans Affairs-Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon B. Brown is prosecuting the case.