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Press Release

Evans City Fiduciary Indicted for Misappropriating Funds from a Disabled Veteran’s Account

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

PITTSBURGH, PA – A resident of Evans City, Pennsylvania, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on a charge of misappropriation by a fiduciary, United States Attorney Cindy K. Chung announced today.

The one-count Indictment named Robert Bruce Ralston, age 75, as the sole defendant.

According to the Indictment, from in and around March 2017 to in and around March 2018, Ralston, who was the appointed fiduciary for a disabled veteran, caused approximately 44 unauthorized withdrawals by check from the disabled veteran’s beneficiary account and transferred the money from these checks to himself, totaling approximately $34,411.77. The defendant used the disabled veteran’s beneficiary funds to engage in transactions for the defendant’s own personal benefit, including paying for his own phone bills, medical bills and mortgage payments, all in violation of the defendant’s role and responsibilities as a fiduciary.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of not more than five years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Christopher M. Cook is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General - CID conducted the investigation leading to the Indictment in this case.

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated February 22, 2022

Financial Fraud