BANGOR, Maine — A Chelsea man was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court to five years of probation in connection with his falsification of mileage vouchers to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs over a nearly three-year period.
Stephen John Longstaff, 55, was ordered to pay more than $17,000 in restitution.
Since waiving indictment in September and pleading guilty to making false, fictitious and fraudulent claims, Longstaff has repaid $2,000 of the $17,361.83 he received illegally.
Between June 15, 2009, and Feb. 27, 2012, Longstaff submitted 156 fraudulent claims for VA travel benefits by overstating the distance he was driving between the Togus VA Medical Center and locations in Washington and Hancock counties, where he claimed he lived, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. An investigator with the VA conducted surveillance and found that Longstaff was living less than three miles from the Togus Medical Center.
The investigation was conducted by the Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Police Department at the medical center.