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Michigan NewsMichigan woman acquired nearly $500,000 after defrauding the U.S. Department of Veterans...

Michigan woman acquired nearly $500,000 after defrauding the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for six years; pleads guilty

Michigan – A woman from Michigan has just pled no contest to a fraud scheme that cheated the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Michigan Department of Treasury out of almost $500,000. The Michigan Attorney General, Dana Nessel, reported this plea on Friday, noting that the woman has agreed to pay back a substantial amount of $470,000.

Sophia Quill, 63, along with her accomplice Melissa Flores, devised a deceptive plan. They used fake names and counterfeit papers to pretend they were relatives of veterans who had passed away and were entitled to benefits. They also falsely claimed unclaimed assets from the Michigan Department of Treasury.

Michigan woman will spend anywhere from 78 months to 20 years in prison for nearly $500,000 fraud from 2013-2019

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This big fraud scheme lasted from 2013 to 2019. Even though the veterans had honorably served their country, the people claiming to be their heirs were only after money. The Michigan Attorney General’s office shared these details. The plea deal suggests Sophia Quill might face 20 years in prison, with her final sentence due to be decided on January 30 at the 3rd Circuit Court.

The Attorney General praised the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of the Inspector General for uncovering this scam. Sophia Quill’s son, Steven Decker, also got entangled in this case due to benefiting from his mother’s crimes.

Steven Decker and Melissa Flores, Quill’s co-conspirator, have already been convicted and ordered to pay back $110,000 and $28,506, respectively. This repayment is a way to do right by the service members whose sacrifices were exploited for money. Attorney General Nessel mentioned this, as reported by the Michigan Department of Attorney General.

“The codefendants in this case stole hundreds of thousands of dollars intended to fund hard-earned benefits for servicemembers and their rightful heirs,” Nessel said, her words echoing a commitment to uphold the honor of those who served as well as to maintain the integrity of systems meant to support them post-service; a sentiment found in all corners of the legal narrative surrounding this case.

Michigan Department of Attorney General confirmed the case in a press release

According to a press release issued by the Michigan Department of Attorney General, the 63-year-old Sophia Quill from Westland has agreed to repay $470,000 to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Michigan Department of Treasury. She now faces anywhere from 78 months to 20 years in prison.

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Together with her co-conspirator, Melissa Flores, Quill acquired around half a million dollars in six years from 2013 – 2019. The duo managed to defraud the Department of Veterans Affairs for over $430,000 and the Michigan Department of Treasury for $40,000. They used fake identities and documents to claim they were heirs of deceased U.S. veterans and entitled to unclaimed property.