VAOIG Seal U.S. Department Of Veterans Affairs
Office of Inspector General
Office of Investigations
Washington, DC 20420
(202) 565-7702
Tuesday, September 11, 2001
Glendale, Arizona Woman Indicted for Theft
Douglas J. Carver, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Office of Inspector General, Western Field Office, Criminal Investigations Division, Los Angeles, CA (VAOIG), announced that on August 31, 2001, Louise DeCosta, Glendale, Arizona was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury, in the Central District of California, Los Angeles, CA. DeCosta was indicted on four counts of Theft of Public Money.

Carver advised the indictment was the result of an investigation by the VAOIG Western Field Office. The investigation disclosed that DeCosta, the daughter of a deceased veteran, failed to report her father's death to the VA. After the veteran's death, DeCosta forged her father's signatures on VA forms to fraudulently mislead the VA in believing that her father was still alive. DeCosta deceived the VA in this manner for over 20 years, which resulted in a monetary loss to the government in excess of $490,000.00.

Assistant United States Attorney Daniel N. Shallman of the United States Attorney's Office, Los Angeles, CA handled the prosecution of this case.