Florida woman charged with stealing $470,000 from veterans program, state of Michigan
A Florida woman is facing multiple charges of allegedly stealing $470,000 from a federal veterans program and the state of Michigan, the Michigan attorney general’s office announced today.
As the fourth repeat offender, Sophia J. Quill, 60, would face life in prison if convicted of any of the nine counts she was charged with before Judge Mark A. McConnell of the 18th District Court of Wayne County. via Zoom on Wednesday, April 21.
Quill allegedly worked with two co-conspirators in a scheme to defraud the US Department of Veterans Affairs and the Michigan Treasury Department by creating pseudonyms and fabricating documents to make it appear that she and co-conspirator Melissa Flores were the heirs of various deceased persons.
RELATED: 3 accused in fraud scheme allegedly stole $470,000 from veterans program, state of Michigan
Between 2013 and 2019, Quill and Flores are alleged to have defrauded the US Department of Veterans Affairs out of more than $430,000 and the Michigan Treasury Department out of more than $40,000.
Flores was arrested last year along with Steven Decker, the son of third co-conspirator Quill, who allegedly received the proceeds of the scheme and used some of the money to conceal assets used to carry out the fraud.
“I said it after the first indictments and I’ll say it again: Taking advantage of agencies that provide public benefits to our service members and their families is a slap in the face for the brave men and women who protect this country,” he said. the Michigan attorney. General Dana Nessel said in a statement. “Let the months spent building and prosecuting this case serve as a warning to anyone who attempts to defraud our state or federal agencies. This will not be tolerated. »
Quill is charged with one count of conducting a criminal enterprise, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison, a $100,000 fine and forfeiture of proceeds and objects used during the crime; four counts of false pretences of $50,000 to $100,000, a felony punishable by 15 years in prison, a fine of $25,000 or three times the value of money or property involved, depending on the value the highest; two counts of false pretences of $20,000 to $50,000, a felony punishable by 15 years in prison, a fine of $15,000 or three times the value of the money or property involved, depending on the value the highest; and two counts of false pretences of $1,000 to $20,000, a felony punishable by 5 years in prison, a fine of $10,000, or three times the value of money or property involved , whichever is greater.
Since Quill is being charged as the fourth repeat offender, she faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted of any of the charges.
Judge McConnell set bail at $10,000 cash/bail and ordered that Quill have no contact with Flores. Quill’s probable cause conference is scheduled for April 29 and his preliminary review is scheduled for May 6, both via Zoom.
Quill was not arraigned last year with her co-defendants because she was out of state and COVID-19 made extradition from Florida difficult. However, the Wayne County District Court was recently able to coordinate his arraignment remotely.
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