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Rochester woman sentenced for stealing VA benefits


ROCHESTER -- Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Lisa Benincasa, 54, of Rochester, who was convicted of theft of government monies, was sentenced by U.S. Magistrate Judge Marian W. Payson to 75 days in prison followed by four months at a residential reentry center. The defendant was also ordered to pay restitution of $6,472.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John J. Field, who handled the case, stated that Benincasa stole Veterans Affairs benefits belonging to a deceased individual. The defendant lived with, and provided care to, the VA beneficiary while the beneficiary was still alive. After the beneficiary died, instead of notifying the VA of her death, Benincasa kept and forged the monthly VA benefit checks. In total, the defendant stole approximately $6,472 in benefits over a two-year period.

The sentencing is the result of an investigation by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General, Criminal Investigations Division, under the direction of Donna L. Neves.