VAOIG Seal U.S. Department Of Veterans Affairs
Office of Inspector General
South Central Field Office
4040 N. Central Expwy, Suite 500
Dallas, TX 75204-3158
(214) 253-3360
Monday, April 11, 2005
Sugarland, TX, Woman Pleads Guilty to Arson, Tampering with a Government Record
John P. McDermott, Special Agent in Charge, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Office of Inspector General (OIG), announced that on April 4, 2005, Tara Poche, of Sugarland, TX, pleaded guilty to arson and tampering with a governmental record. Poche has previously been found guilty of a related murder charge.

McDermott stated that a joint investigation by his Houston Resident Agency, ATF, and Fort Bend County, TX, revealed that Poche forged a VA life insurance form, then killed her veteran husband and set her home on fire to conceal the crime. The veteran was a quadriplegic and was receiving more than $6,400 a month in VA benefits. The veteran also had a $10,000 VA life insurance policy and a $90,000 VA home insurance policy. Poche was found guilty of murder during a jury trial, and was sentenced to 30 years' incarceration. She then pleaded guilty to the two remaining charges, and received 40 years' incarceration for arson, and 10 years' incarceration for tampering with a governmental record. Poche signed an agreement not to appeal any of the charges. Tara Poche also will not receive any VA benefits.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Mike Elliott and Chris Delozier of the Fort Bend County District Attorney's Office, Sugarland, TX.