Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Man Pleads Guilty for Role in Scheme to Defraud Department of Veterans Affairs

PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The ex-boyfriend of a former Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) social work associate pleaded guilty today for his role in a scheme to defraud the United States of the associate's honest services in connection with her work finding suitable housing and daily care for mentally ill and disabled military veterans, Acting Assistant Attorney General Matthew Friedrich of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney David E. Nahmias of the Northern District of Georgia announced.

Darrick O. Frazier, 33, of Atlanta, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard W. Story in Atlanta to one count of honest services mail fraud. At sentencing, Frazier faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and $20,200 in restitution. A sentencing date has not been scheduled. Frazier was indicted on Nov. 14, 2006, along with his ex-girlfriend, Bridgette L. Davidson, 37, who was employed as a social work associate with the VA during the time the alleged criminal scheme occurred. A trial date for Davidson has not been set by the court.

In his guilty plea, Frazier admitted that from approximately November 2001 through March 2002, he and Davidson rented a home in Marietta, Ga., a suburb of Atlanta, to house mentally ill and disabled military veterans in Davidson's care in exchange for monthly federal subsidy payments. Frazier admitted that he and Davidson then falsely represented to VA officials and to the military veterans' legal guardians and custodians that the home was independently owned and a certified personal care home suitable to house and care for the veterans. Frazier also admitted he and Davidson used the rental income obtained from the veterans housed at the facility to pay some of the rent, utilities and related expenses on the rental property, and then kept the excess revenue for their own personal benefit. The facility was shut down in April 2002.

The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Armando O. Bonilla of the Criminal Division's Public Integrity Section, headed by Section Chief William M. Welch II, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Teresa D. Hoyt of the Northern District of Georgia. The case is being investigated by the VA Office of Inspector General.

Georgia Front Page

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