New Bedford man stole $450K from retired US Marine with ALS: Feds

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A 71-year-old New Bedford man is charged with stealing greater than $450,000 in Veterans Affairs advantages from a 20-year Marine who was identified with ALS.

Joseph Smith faces fees of 1 rely every of theft of presidency advantages and conspiracy to steal authorities advantages. Smith is presently in custody on unrelated fees and is scheduled to be arraigned on these new fees in federal courtroom in Boston on Tuesday.

“Eighty years ago this week, incredibly brave members of our military stormed the beaches of Normandy to save Europe. Every citizen owes a debt of gratitude to the veterans who have served our country,” performing U.S. Lawyer for Massachusetts Joshua Levy stated in an announcement.

“It is beyond the pale to steal disability payments that were intended for a 20-year military veteran facing a life-threatening disease, as is alleged here,” Levy added. “The immorality exposed by the criminal justice system is, at times, simply stunning.”

The feds say that the sufferer within the case began receiving Veterans Advantages Administration checks for $8,318 monthly beginning in September 2015, shortly after his analysis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. ALS, also referred to as Lou Gehrig’s illness, is a “fatal type of motor neuron disease,” in accordance with Johns Hopkins Drugs, that “causes progressive degeneration of nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain.”

The sufferer, who “breathed with a ventilator and was dependent upon others for his everyday care,” signed the advantages type with an X as a result of his “severe health issues,” in accordance with an affidavit supporting the costs written by a U.S. Postal Inspection Service inspector. He died from problems of the illness in October of final 12 months.

The advantages checks have been despatched to his former residence on Nelson Avenue in New Bedford, the place the sufferer had lived along with his brother — who died in August 2022 — and certainly one of Smith’s kin and others earlier than he was hospitalized, in accordance with the affidavit.

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