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Michigan woman sentenced to 2 years for defrauding VA, treasury

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Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 3:19 PM EDT
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WAYNE CO., Mich. (WNEM) - A Michigan woman has been sentenced to two years in prison for her involvement in a scheme to defraud the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and the state treasury department, according to Attorney General Dana Nessel.

Melissa Flores was sentenced to 24 months in prison and ordered to pay $110,000 in restitution by Wayne County Circuit Court Visiting Judge Cynthia Stevens on Friday.

“My office will not stand for attempts to take advantage of the agencies that offer benefits to the public, especially to our brave service members and their families,” Nessel said. “I’m proud of the work done across our partner agencies to secure this sentence against Ms. Flores.”

Flores pleaded guilty in May of 2021 to these charges:

  • Two counts of false pretenses between $20,000 and $50,000
  • One count of forgery of documents affecting real property
  • Four counts of false pretenses between $1,000 and $20,000

Flores and her co-defendant, Sophia Quill, allegedly created fake names and created documents to make it look like they were heirs to multiple deceased individuals.

From 2013 to 2019, Flores and Quill allegedly defrauded the VA out of more than $430,000, according to the AG’s office.

They also are suspected of defrauding the Michigan Department of Treasury of more than $40,000 in unclaimed property.

“Fraudulently obtaining benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs is reprehensible and takes taxpayer dollars away from providing for deserving veterans,” said Special Agent in Charge Gregory Billingsley, with the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General’s Central Field Office.