|U.S. Department Of Veterans
Office of Inspector General
Office of Investigations
Washington, DC 20420
|Friday, June 25, 1999|
|Former VA Employee Sentenced for Theft of VA Compensation Benefits|
|Richard J. Griffin, Inspector
General, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), announced today that in
U.S. District Court, Brooklyn, New York, George C. Cox, a former VA
ratings specialist, was sentenced to 33 months imprisonment to be
followed by 3 years supervised release. The sentence also included
restitution in the amount of $588,872 and a $100 special assessment. Cox
previously pleaded guilty to one count of theft of Government funds for
stealing VA compensation benefits.
Griffin stated that the sentencing was the result of a joint investigation conducted by his Northeast Field Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In August 1986, while employed at the VA Regional Office in New York, Cox created a record for a fictitious veteran and issued him an award for service connected disabilities. From August 1986 through August 1998, Cox caused VA to deposit in excess of $550,000 in monthly benefits into a savings account he had opened in the name of the fictitious veteran. Every month, Cox withdrew the majority of the deposited funds from this account, leaving a small amount to keep the account open.
Cox was arrested on August 10, 1998, after he made a withdrawal from the bank in the fictitious veteran’s name. At the time of his arrest, he was in possession of $10,000.
Assistant United States Attorney Kelly Currie handled the prosecution of this case.