Posted by on January 23, 2023 8:46 pm
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VA benefit theft: Elderly woman ordered to repay nearly $500K of dead mother’s benefits

People walk among headstones with holiday wreaths in Arlington National Cemetery during Wreaths Across America Day in Arlington, Va., Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019. Sait Serkan Gurbuz/AP

VA benefit theft: Elderly woman ordered to repay nearly $500K of dead mother’s benefits

Tori Richards January 23, 08:13 PMJanuary 23, 08:13 PM Video Embed

A 76-year-old woman who stole benefits sent to her dead mother from the Department of Veterans Affairs has been ordered to pay back nearly half a million dollars.

The theft continued for 48 years. It began in 1973.

An Ohio federal court judge ordered Irene Ferrin to pay $461,780 and serve a year of home detention for a scheme that involved forging her mother’s signature on more than 500 monthly payments over the years, Military.com reported.

Ferrin claimed that she had to care for several younger siblings who were under 18 years old.

“Although this may explain (though not excuse) her decision to take the VA benefits for a short time in the early 1970’s, it does not remotely begin to justify her subsequent theft from the VA for the ensuing four decades,” prosecutors wrote in a court filing.

Ferrin forged change-of-address forms and several other documents over the years.

When the scheme began, the payments were $250, but they increased over the years to $1,357 a month.

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The VA eventually discovered the theft, and Ferrin was charged with theft of public money. She pleaded guilty in August 2022.

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