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Press Release

Tonawanda Woman Sentenced For Defrauding Elderly Veteran

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of New York

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Kathy Oertelt, 32, of Tonawanda, NY, who was convicted of mail fraud, was sentenced to 18 months in prison by Senior U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny, to mail fraud.

Assistant U.S. Attorney MaryEllen Kresse, who handled the case, stated that between April and October 2013, Oertelt, who was employed as a health care provider for an 87-year old legally blind veteran, used the veteran’s signature stamp without his knowledge or permission to issue checks to herself totaling approximately $20,000. The defendant also obtained blank checks from an account the veteran had at the Navy Federal Credit Union in Vienna, Virginia. Oertelt wrote checks to herself on that account totaling approximately $54,000, and used the funds to purchase a 2008 Ford Expedition and a 2001 Suzuki SSXR motorcycle and to fund her gambling habit.
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, and the United States Secret Service, under the direction Special Agent in Charge C. Todd Laster.

Updated July 2, 2015