Due to the lapse in appropriations, Department of Justice websites will not be regularly updated. The Department’s essential law enforcement and national security functions will continue. Please refer to the Department of Justice’s contingency plan for more information.

You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Louisiana

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Ragley woman collects more than $75,000 of deceased mother-in-law’s VA benefits

LAKE CHARLES, La. United States Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced that a Ragley woman pleaded guilty last week to taking more than $75,000 of her deceased mother-in-law’s benefits.

Vanneta Hudspeth, 57, of Ragley, La., pleaded guilty January 25 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen Kay to one count of theft of government funds. According to the guilty plea, Hudspeth continued to receive her deceased mother-in-law’s Veterans Affairs benefits from March 2010 to June 2015 that she was not entitled to. Hudspeth made false statements on the mail-in questionnaire in 2014, stating that her mother-in-law was still living and entitled to receive benefits.  Hudspeth collected $75,477.90 in VA benefits after her mother-in-law’s death in March 2010.

Hudspeth faces 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. The court set sentencing for April 17, 2018.

Veterans Affairs-Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert F. Moore is prosecuting the case.

Financial Fraud
Updated February 1, 2018