Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Grand jury indicts Springfield woman for stealing disabled veterans' benefits

(From the U. S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri)

A Springfield, Mo., woman was indicted by a federal grand jury today for embezzling more than $280,000 from federal benefits designated for disabled veterans.

Beverly Sue Wright, 64, of Springfield, was charged in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Springfield.

From 2005 to 2013, Wright acted as a federal fiduciary for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. In that capacity, she was assigned as legal custodian for veterans who were deemed to be incompetent to handle their financial responsibilities. As a VA-appointed fiduciary, Wright held joint bank accounts, wrote checks for debts and bills, created budgets, and was accountable for the veterans’ finances.

Today’s indictment alleges that, between September 2009 and November 2012, Wright embezzled $280,228 that was administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Dickinson cautioned that the charge contained in this indictment is simply an accusation, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charge must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Mohlhenrich. It was investigated by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General.