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Former Department of Veterans Affairs Employee Pleads Guilty to Identity Theft and Veterans Affairs Fraud

August 13, 2018

Office Affiliation: The Office of Investigations

From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania:

PHILADELPHIA, PA – U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Shawn Edmonds, a 43-year old resident of Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty today before the Honorable Gerald J. Pappert to five counts of wire fraud and three counts of aggravated identify theft related to a scheme to defraud the Department of Veterans Affairs of over $800,000.

Edmonds was an employee at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Philadelphia where his duties included the review, approval, and authorization of veteran claims.  Edmonds accessed the personal identification information of veterans and veteran spouses in order to manipulate pre-existing claims and create fake claims using veteran identities.  Prior to authorizing the fictitious claims, Edmonds changed the direct deposit information for the claims, thereby diverting the stolen funds to the accounts of over 15 co-schemers.  Edmonds then received a portion of the stolen monies as a kickback.  Edmonds manipulated records internally to avoid detection in this scheme, which occurred between July 2011 and April 2013.

“This defendant used his access to sensitive personal information of our nation’s veterans—those who have honorably served our country—to enrich himself,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain.  “This Office will not tolerate government employees using their position to commit fraud against the government, and we will prosecute those who abuse the public’s trust to the fullest extent of the law.”

“The American public expects the Department of Veterans Affairs to spend limited taxpayer funds efficiently and economically.  Fraud and other corrupt behavior by VA employees wastes precious dollars intended to provide critical benefits to our disabled veterans.  Today’s guilty plea should serve as a deterrent to those who would seek to use their position of public trust to defraud the VA,” said VA OIG Special Agent-in-Charge Sean J. Smith.  “We appreciate the commitment of the U.S. Attorney’s Office throughout this significant investigation.  We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to prevent this type of fraud and hold wrongdoers accountable.”

The case was investigated by the Department of Veteran Affairs, Office of Inspector General and Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Alicia Freind.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Shawn Edmonds, a 43-year old resident of Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty today before the Honorable Gerald J. Pappert to five counts of wire fraud and three counts of aggravated identify theft related to a scheme to defraud the Department of Veterans Affairs of over $800,000.

Edmonds was an employee at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Philadelphia where his duties included the review, approval, and authorization of veteran claims.  Edmonds accessed the personal identification information of veterans and veteran spouses in order to manipulate pre-existing claims and create fake claims using veteran identities.  Prior to authorizing the fictitious claims, Edmonds changed the direct deposit information for the claims, thereby diverting the stolen funds to the accounts of over 15 co-schemers.  Edmonds then received a portion of the stolen monies as a kickback.  Edmonds manipulated records internally to avoid detection in this scheme, which occurred between July 2011 and April 2013.

“This defendant used his access to sensitive personal information of our nation’s veterans—those who have honorably served our country—to enrich himself,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain.  “This Office will not tolerate government employees using their position to commit fraud against the government, and we will prosecute those who abuse the public’s trust to the fullest extent of the law.”

“The American public expects the Department of Veterans Affairs to spend limited taxpayer funds efficiently and economically.  Fraud and other corrupt behavior by VA employees wastes precious dollars intended to provide critical benefits to our disabled veterans.  Today’s guilty plea should serve as a deterrent to those who would seek to use their position of public trust to defraud the VA,” said VA OIG Special Agent-in-Charge Sean J. Smith.  “We appreciate the commitment of the U.S. Attorney’s Office throughout this significant investigation.  We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to prevent this type of fraud and hold wrongdoers accountable.”

The case was investigated by the Department of Veteran Affairs, Office of Inspector General and Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Alicia Freind.

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