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Justice News

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

Monday, September 30, 2013

VA Worker Sentenced To Three Years Probation For Faking Active Duty Paperwork

PITTSBURGH - A resident of Washington County, Pennsylvania, was sentenced in federal court to three years probation and $14,164.91 in restitution on his conviction of theft of government property and making a false statement, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Chief United States District Judge Joy Flowers Conti imposed the sentence on Richard A. Ward, 42.

According to the information presented to the Court, Ward, while a VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System employee, submitted to the VA a false and fictitious Special Order drawn on the authority of the Department of the Air Force, Pennsylvania Air National Guard 171st Air Refueling Wing. The false Special Order indicated that Ward, who is also a Pennsylvania Air National Guardsman, was deployed for active duty. The VA placed Ward in a special pay status for VA employees who are activated for military duty. The pay and benefits wrongfully obtained by Ward equaled approximately $14,164.91.

Prior to sentencing, the Court took into consideration Ward’s lack of criminal history and his early acceptance of responsibility.

Assistant United States Attorney Mary McKeen Houghton prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General, and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs Police, conducted the successful investigation leading to the conviction and sentence in this case.

Updated July 14, 2015