A former Whitman, Massachusetts police sergeant plead guilty Tuesday to embezzling more than $250,000 in Veterans Administration benefit money from the accounts of several disabled veterans, according to officials.
According to court documents, from 2007 to 2012, Glenn P. Pearson, 61, was appointed a VA fiduciary for eight disabled veterans of the U.S. armed forces.
A veteran, who has been awarded VA benefits but is unable to manage his or her funds due to injury, disease, mental incompetence or infirmities of advanced age, can have another individual, referred to as a fiduciary, appointed by the VA to receive funds on the veteran’s behalf and to manage those funds for the benefit of the veteran.
Pearson used his position as a fiduciary to misappropriate and embezzle more than $250,000 in VA-issued benefit money from the accounts of several veterans.
Moreover, beginning in 2012, Pearson operated FTS Tax Services, a tax preparation business through which he prepared false tax returns for clients for a fee.
“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 Stuart M. Goldberg. “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.”
“Mr. Pearson abused his position as a fiduciary and took advantage of vulnerable members of our society,” said Acting U.S. Attorney William Weinreb. “Our veterans deserve the best care, and we will hold accountable those who seek to profit at their expense.”
Pearson admitted to wire fraud, preparing false income tax returns for clients of his tax-preparation business, obstructing the internal revenue laws and misappropriating funds from the accounts of disabled veterans while he was a fiduciary appointed by the U.S. Department of Veterans affairs.
Pearson is scheduled for sentencing on Sept. 19. He is facing up to 26 years in prison, according to officials. Pearson was also ordered to make restitution to veterans, the VA and IRS.