July 21, 2021
NEWARK, N.J. – A Monmouth County, New Jersey, man today admitted he defrauded the Department of Veterans Affairs of over $200,0000 in survivor’s pension benefits over 12 years, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Melvin Greenspan, 72, of Perrineville, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti in Newark federal court to an information charging him with conversion of government funds.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
The Department of Veteran’s Affairs provided survivor’s pension benefits to Greenspan’s mother because of Greenspan’s father’s prior military service. Those benefits, intended only for surviving spouses of military members, were made through electronic funds transfers into Greenspan’s mother’s bank account beginning in September 1971 and continuing after that date. After Greenspan’s mother died in 2006, Greenspan did not notify the Department of Veterans Affairs about his mother’s death and made withdrawals of the survivor’s pension benefits from his mother’s bank account between 2006 and 2018, totaling $201,166.
The charge of conversion of government funds carries a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greatest. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 22, 2021.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General, Northeast Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Christopher F. Algieri, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Levin of the Violent Crimes Unit in Newark.
Defense counsel: Vincent LaPaglia Esq., Hoboken, New Jersey