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Louisiana woman pleads guilty to stealing deceased mother’s veterans benefits

Posted: 6:21 PM, Jul 26, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-26 19:21:31-04

A woman from Pollock pleaded guilty Tuesday to stealing more than $114,000 in Veterans Affairs (VA) disability benefits.

Elizabeth Marion Poole, 44, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Dee. D. Drell to one count of theft of money belonging to the Department of Veterans Affairs. 

An agent from the VA, Office of Inspector General, provided summary testimony during the guilty plea hearing as the factual basis for the guilty plea.  The agent testified that Poole’s mother died in September of 2007 while receiving VA benefits as the surviving widow of a U.S. Navy veteran, who had retired with a 100 percent service-related disability.  

Poole did not notify the VA of her mother’s death, and the VA continued to send monthly benefit payments to Poole’s mother by direct deposits into a joint account that Poole shared with her mother.  Poole received and spent the monthly VA payments after her mother died in 2007 until June of 2013.  She received approximately $114,210 in VA benefit payments to which she was not entitled.

Poole faces up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $250,000 fine, and restitution. The court set the sentencing date for November 19, 2018.

The Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General, conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph T. Mickel is prosecuting the case.