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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Marion man accused of stealing over $1 million from Department of Veterans Affairs

A 69-year-old Marion County man was indicted this week on one count of fraud for allegedly stealing over $1 million from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs over a 29-year period.

On Thursday, November 9, United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announced the return of an indictment charging Paul Lesslie Thompson, of Anthony, with one count of receipt of stolen government property.

According to the indictment, between May 1993 and December 2022, Thompson allegedly “willfully received, concealed, and retained $1,169,327.54” that was stolen from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs through Veterans Affairs Disability Compensation.

An indictment is merely an allegation that a defendant has committed a federal criminal offense. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

If convicted, Thompson faces up to 10 years in federal prison and an order of forfeiture for at least $1,169,327.54, which represents the proceeds of the offense charged in the indictment.

This case is being investigated by the Department of Veterans Affairs – Office of Inspector General. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Hannah Nowalk.