VAOIG Seal U.S. Department Of Veterans Affairs
Office of Inspector General
Office of Investigations
Washington, DC 20420
(202) 565-7702
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.