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Justice News

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

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Former Caregiver Sentenced

April Darlene Avery To Serve 30 Months For Stealing From Elderly Woman

ABINGDON, VIRGINIA – A local woman who previously pleaded guilty to food stamp fraud and bank fraud, was sentenced last week in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Abingdon.

April Darlene Avery, 41, of Glade Spring, Va., previously waived her right to be indicted and pled guilty to one count of food stamp fraud and one count of bank fraud. On January 3, 2014 in U.S. District Court in Abingdon, she was sentenced to 30 months of Federal incarceration. She was also ordered to pay $153,759 in restitution to the victim of her bank fraud and $3,936 in restitution for overpayment of public assistance benefits.

“This defendant repeatedly stole from her elderly client,” United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today. “Rather than perform her important duty as a caregiver, Ms. Avery took advantage of a senior citizen by taking money from her accounts. For that despicable conduct, she has justly been held accountable.”

According to evidence presented in court by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Bockhorst, Avery was employed full-time as a caregiver for an elderly woman. While employed as a caregiver, Avery forged the signature of the elderly woman in her care and negotiated checks, as a means of obtaining funds from accounts of the victim to which she was not entitled. In total, Avery stole more than $153,000 from the victim.

In addition, between April 2012 and March 2013, while being employed, Avery knowing used and acquired food stamp coupons worth approximately $3,936 to which she was not entitled.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the United States Secret Service, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the Virginia Department of Social Service. Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Bockhorst will prosecute the case for the United States.

Updated April 15, 2015