Woman Could Face 10 Years For Stealing Over $100K of Dead Sister's Veterans Benefits

A Massachusetts woman is facing a possible 10 years in prison after stealing more than $100,000 in Department of Veterans Affairs benefits intended for her sister who died in 2006.

On Tuesday, 60-year-old Robin Calef pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government funds for stealing $102,289.62 intended for her deceased sister, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts, in December 2006, Calef's sister, who received monthly benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs, died. Calef failed to inform the VA of the death, while the VA continued sending monthly checks to Calef's sister. From December 2006 until September 2017, Calef continually cashed checks in her sister's name, as they shared a bank account. The Department of Justice, who's also assisting with the prosecution, stated in a press release that Calef "did, on a recurring basis, knowingly and willfully embezzle" $102,289.62 in VA benefits from their joint account.

Military Patches
A Massachusetts woman is facing up to 10 years in prison after stealing over $100,000 in Department of Veterans Affairs benefits for more that a decade that belonged to her deceased sister. Pictured above are military patches. Getty Images

Calef will be sentenced on March 1. Along with her facing up to 10 years in prison, she will also be on supervised release for three years and have to pay a fine of $250,000 and the $102,289.62 she illegally received.

Calef has waived both the right to appeal her conviction and to challenge her sentence, including any court orders related to forfeiture, restitution, or supervised release.

There have been several cases within the last year regarding Army and VA benefits being stolen for personal use.

On October 19, the DOJ announced that 41-year-old William Rich faces a maximum of 20 years in federal prison for wire fraud and a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison for theft of government property if convicted of all crimes.

According to the DOJ, Rich, who lives in Windsor Mill, Maryland, was given 100 percent disability from the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2007. He allegedly lied about being disabled and saying he couldn't use his "lower extremities," according to court documents. After the claim was approved, Rich received more than $1 million in benefits and compensation for personal use.

Rich has already been charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of theft of government property. On October 13, he was scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Baltimore and ordered to be released pending trial.

Rich has been assigned a federal public defender as counsel.

Newsweek has reached out to the DOJ for further comment.