A Lubbock man, Lyndell Simmons, who pled guilty in January to theft of government money or property, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings to 60 months in prison and ordered to pay $21,529 restitution to the Department of Veterans Administration, announced U.S. Attorney Richard B. Roper of the Northern District of Texas. Simmons, 46, is presently in federal custody.
According to documents filed in Court, Louise Simmons, Lyndell Simmons' mother, was a beneficiary of VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation Benefits. In March 2007, an investigation was initiated by the VA, Office of Inspector General, Criminal Investigation Division, after a complaint alleged that Ms. Simmons had not returned a marital status questionnaire. An investigation revealed that Ms. Simmons died on November 10, 2004.
Further investigation revealed that from approximately December 1, 2004 to March 1, 2007, Lyndell Simmons cashed approximately 22 VA benefits checks made payable to his mother, forging endorsements on each check. He cashed the checks and used the money for his own personal use.
U.S. Attorney Roper praised the investigative efforts of the VA, Office of Inspector General, Criminal Investigation Division. Assistant U.S. Attorney Paulina Jacobo prosecuted the case.
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