According to federal authorities, a man hired by the Department of Veterans Affairs to manage veterans' benefits admitted to stealing more than $300,000 from at least ten of his clients.
Raymond Huffman, 61, of Brunson, S.C., pleaded guilty to stealing and misusing funds while in the capacity of a fiduciary, where he did not have the capability of managing veterans' benefits due to illness, disability, or old age.
According to a federal indictment, from Oct. 26, 2015, to July 18, 2018, Huffman and his company, Huffman Fiduciary Services, received "money from the Department of Veterans Affairs and [did] deliberately and knowingly misappropriate, embezzle, and improperly use the money."
According to the news statement, one of the victims was a soldier who died in 2018 and whose estate Huffman stole from.
In a statement, U.S. Attorney Corey F. Ellis stated, "Stealing monies meant for a veteran is a heinous crime." "The nation owes it to our veterans, who have sacrificed so much for us to ensure that they aren't persecuted."
McClatchy News was unable to speak with Huffman's lawyer for comment.
According to the press release, Huffman acknowledged taking $304,413.75, plus over $10,000 in fees.
As a result of his release, he faces a maximum prison sentence of 50 years, as well as restitution fines up to $250,000 and a 30-year supervision period. After evaluating a sentencing report, United States District Judge Bruce Howe Hendricks will sentence Huffman.