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May 13, 11

NEWS / Virginia Woman Sentenced to Six Months in Prison for Theft of Public Funds

BOSTON—A Virginia woman was sentenced today in federal court for stealing annuity payments issued to her deceased father by the United States Office of Personnel Management.

Venus Valiery Hammack, 55, of Mount Jackson, Virginia, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Joseph L. Tauro to six months in prison to be followed by two years of supervised release for theft of public funds. Judge Tauro also ordered that Hammack pay restitution in the amount of $281,820.25—a figure that represents the outstanding loss caused by Hammack’s crimes and not yet recovered by the United States. Hammack pleaded guilty in February.

At a prior hearing, the government told the court that Hammack’s father, who passed away in August 1999, had been receiving an annuity through the Civil Service Retirement System. Hammack, who was ineligible to receive survivor benefits from the federal government, never notified the United States Office of Personnel Management of her father’s death. Instead, Hammack forged her father’s signature on an address verification form in order to continue receiving payments after his death. As a result, Hammack fraudulently collected approximately 121 annuity payments totaling approximately $314,744.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Drew Grimm, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Office of Personnel Management, Office of the Inspector General, Eastern Operations; and Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan M. DiSantis of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.




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