Veteranclaims’s Blog

July 18, 2010

Former TRLA Lawyer Sentenced for Defrauding VA

Full Article at: Disbarred S.A. lawyer sentenced for stealing thousands from indigent veterans fund

by KENS 5 Staff

Posted on July 17, 2010 at 5:46 PM

“A former San Antonio lawyer, who was found guilty of defrauding the VA, will be spending the next four and a half years in prison.

On Friday, a judge sentenced Leo Alvarado to 54 months in prison for stealing $134,000. The money was supposed to go to the legal needs of indigent veterans.

Alvarado, a disbarred lawyer and former paralegal with the Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, reportedly submitted over 500 fraudulent vouchers for trips from San Antonio to Big Spring, San Angelo, Midland, Waco and other Texas cities between November 2003 and February 2006.

The trips were supposed to have been made to help indigent veterans and widows in filing claims with the Veterans Administration. Alvarado was in a position to approve his own travel. But investigators say he used invalid Social Security numbers , Social Security numbers of dead people, or numbers that belonged to different people.

They say sometimes Alvarado just made up clients so that he could be reimbursed fictitious travel expenses.

The VA says they have no record of Alvarado every assisting any veteran or widow.”

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