Former police sergeant Glenn P. Pearson pleaded guilty Tuesday to embezzling funds from disabled veterans in the course of preparing false tax returns.
Pearson, who formerly served as a police sergeant in Whitman, Mass., also pleaded guilty to wire fraud, preparing false tax returns, obstructing tax laws and misappropriating funds.
“Glenn Pearson took advantage of disabled military veterans who could not manage their own financial affairs, by diverting hundreds of thousands of dollars in VA payments to his personal benefit,” said Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg in a release from the Department of Justice. “He then used his tax preparation business to generate more than $1.5 million in bogus refunds and obstructed IRS audits looking into the fraudulent returns he prepared. Today, Pearson is held fully accountable for his abuse of trust and fraudulent conduct.”
While he was embezzling funds from disabled vets, Pearson worked as a fiduciary appointed by the Department of Veterans Affairs for eight disabled veterans.
The point of fiduciaries is to help disabled veterans manage their funds when they are unable to do so because of mental incompetence, infirmities or other issues. The fiduciary receives the veteran’s funds and is tasked with managing them appropriately.
Pearson misappropriated and embezzled more than $250,000 of benefit funds by raiding the accounts of disabled veterans.
When he was first arrested in August 2016, authorities alleged Pearson used the funds to pay down his mortgage.
“Mr. Pearson abused his position as a fiduciary and took advantage of vulnerable members of our society,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Weinreb. “Our veterans deserve the best care, and we will hold accountable those who seek to profit at their expense.”
Pearson will attend his sentencing hearing Sept. 19, at which point he is staring down a maximum sentence of 20 years for wire fraud and five years for misappropriation of funds by a fiduciary, among the other charges. Pearson has agreed to make restitution to both the disabled veterans and the VA.
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