Gahanna Woman Charged with Illegally Receiving VA Benefits
COLUMBUS, OH—A federal grand jury has charged Rita Green, 55, of Gahanna, Ohio, with illegally receiving Department of Veterans Affairs Dependency and Indemnity Compensation benefits in an indictment returned in Columbus, Ohio.
Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Gavin McClaren, Resident Agent in Charge, Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General (VA-OIG), and Angela L. Byers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Field Division, announced the indictment returned yesterday.
The indictment alleges that Green kept $89,646.22 of Department of Veterans Affairs Dependency and Indemnity Compensation benefits to which she knew she was not entitled. Green’s mother was a recipient of the benefits, which are paid to surviving spouses of veterans who died in the line of duty or died from a disease or injury incurred or aggravated while on active duty. Those benefits were paid monthly to a bank account in the mother’s name.
It is alleged that after Green’s mother died in 2009, Green continued to withdraw the benefits from the bank account of her mother and use the money via a debit card in her mother’s name.
Theft of public money is a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Stewart commended the investigation of this case by the VA-OIG and the FBI’s Public Corruption Task Force, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Glenn-Applegate, who is prosecuting the case.
An indictment merely contains allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.