An Arizona man was sentenced to probation for his role in a scheme that stole from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Dennis Gene Godbolt, from Buckeye, will serve five years of supervised probation and will be forced to pay $95,000 in restitution for his efforts, based on a ruling from Senior U.S. District Judge David G. Campbell.
According to a release from the Department of Justice, he pled guilty to one count of Theft of Government Property.
“Godbolt pleaded guilty to stealing property, mostly consisting of home furnishings, that had been donated by Walmart to the Veterans Affairs Phoenix Health Care System (VAPHCS) for use by homeless and destitute veterans. Godbolt typically picked up donated items from the Walmart distribution center in Buckeye, Arizona and transported the donations in a truck belonging to Voluntary Services. On numerous occasions, instead of taking the donations to the VAPHCS facilities in Phoenix, Godbolt stole items and placed them in his personal storage lockers,” the release explained.
In recent years, the VA in the state has been subject to multiple criminal activities. The former director of the agency in Phoenix was also sentenced to probation in 2016after pleading guilty to making a false statement to a government agency. Sharon Helman filed a falsified financial disclosure that did not detail gifts that she has received.
“Financial disclosure requirements are critical to ensuring that VA is able to assess any potential conflict of interest that VA executives may have,” stated Michael E. Seitler, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General, Northwest Field Office. “In this case, Ms. Helman’s failure to fully disclose her financial relationships, called into question her actions and decisions as a VA executive.”
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