Wednesday, October 4, 2023
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Prison for Stealing From Wounded Veterans Group

SAN DIEGO (CN) - The husband and wife founder of the Wounded Marine Careers Foundation were sentenced to prison Thursday and fined $150,000 for embezzling from the foundation and defrauding the Veterans Administration.

Judith Ann Paixao and Kevin Lombard, both of Afton, Va., were convicted of conspiracy, theft and false claims in a July 2015 jury trial.

Paixao, 61, was sentenced to six months in jail and six months house arrest; Lombard to three months in jail and three months house arrest. They also must pay $150,000 in restitution and penalties.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Miller, who presided at trial and sentenced them, also denied their motion for a new trial. He cited "their continuous misrepresentations of donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Foundation from the sale of their home, which they actually had lost to foreclosure," the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

They also lied about high-end video cameras acquired by the Foundation and billed to the Department of Veterans Affairs at "bogus" inflated costs.

Paixao and Lombard claimed the donated $200,000 of their own money to set up the tax-exempt foundation to train wounded veterans for careers in the film industry.

However, according to the U.S. attorney: "They used the Foundation to defraud the VA and submit false claims to the VA in order to get funds for training and equipment they never provided. Adding insult to injury, the defendants also embezzled funds from the Foundation for their own use."

U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy called their crimes against wounded Marines "particularly offensive."

Paixao also was convicted of mail fraud.

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