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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 7, 2016

Retired Funeral Director Sentenced For Submitting Fraudulent Claims To The Veterans Administration

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that Karen Schlager, 60, of Snyder, NY, who was convicted of submitting false and fraudulent claims to the Department of Veterans Affairs, was sentenced to one year probation, 80 hours community service, and a $5,000 fine by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo. The defendant was also ordered to pay restitution totaling $14,900 to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney MaryEllen Kresse, who handled the case, stated that the defendant, who was the funeral director at Schlager Funeral Home in Amherst, submitted claims to the VA seeking payment for death benefits, including transportation costs, burial services, and funeral costs, that she knew had not provided to veterans or their families. As a result of the defendant’s actions, the VA suffered a loss of approximately $13,800.
 
The sentencing is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the United States Veterans Administration, Office of Inspector General, Criminal Investigations Division, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Jeffrey G. Hughes.

Updated July 8, 2016