Bradford man sentenced in VA pension fraud case

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff
Posted Oct. 22, 2008, at 7:30 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A Bradford man who served in Vietnam was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Bangor to 15 months in federal prison for receiving more than $133,000 in veteran’s benefits over a 21-year period that he was not entitled to.

Robert W. Hall, 59, also was sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $133,340 in restitution to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The $110,000 in cash investigators seized from Hall’s safe deposit box will be applied to his restitution, according to court documents.

Hall waived indictment in May and pleaded guilty to mail fraud, theft of government property and making a false statement. The maximum sentence on each charge is 20, 10 and five years respectively. Under the federal sentencing guidelines, Hall faced between 15 and 21 months in prison.

According to court documents, Hall told the VA that he had no income other than his pension when he earned money as a livestock dealer and from rental property. By receiving pension payments he was not entitled to, Hall stole government property. The mail fraud charge stemmed from the fact that he received the pension payments he had fraudulently obtained in the mail.

The investigation by the VA Office of Inspector General began in July 2006 after one of Hall’s tenants informed the VA that Hall had other income in addition to his veteran’s pension, according to court documents. Investigators found that Hall attended livestock auctions in Maine, where he would purchase animals, then transport them to Pennsylvania, where he sold them for cash.

Hall admitted that he had lied to the VA about how much money he made and kept cash in the safe deposit box to conceal his real income.

jharrison@bangordailynews.net

990-8207

http://bangordailynews.com/2008/10/22/news/bangor/bradford-man-sentenced-in-va-pension-fraud-case/ printed on December 27, 2014