Atlanta man gets federal prison time for stealing $150K of father’s VA benefits

Credit: File photo

Credit: File photo

An Atlanta man who was found guilty of embezzling more than $150,000 of his father’s veteran’s disability benefits has been sentenced to a year in federal prison, officials announced.

William F. Dorsey Jr., 44, of Atlanta, was found guilty in July of violating his fiduciary duty to his disabled father, acting U.S. Attorney Kurt Erskine said in a news release Wednesday. Dorsey’s father, William Dorsey Sr., is a 69-year-old Vietnam veteran suffering from Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s and dementia. He is confined to a wheelchair and resides in an assisted living facility.

“Stealing from a disabled veteran who is also his parent is shameful,” Erskine said. “Our veterans served this country with honor, and we will aggressively investigate and prosecute those who seek to take advantage of them.”

ExploreAtlanta man charged with stealing $200K of VA benefits from ailing father

According to Erskine, Dorsey Jr. signed a fiduciary agreement to manage his father’s Veterans Affairs benefit payments in May 2010. The agreement required Dorsey Jr. to spend his father’s VA payments only on the veteran, never comingle funds, never withdraw cash from the account and to keep accurate records and receipts.

When Dorsey Jr. was removed as his father’s fiduciary seven years later, bank records showed he “had violated all of these conditions,” Erskine said. Financial records presented in court showed that Dorsey Jr. spent thousands from his father’s VA account on himself, wrote checks to himself, and kept more than $100,000 of the embezzled money after he was removed as fiduciary.

During that time, the staff at the medical facility where Dorsey Sr. lives said the veteran needed only $50-$100 per month to cover expenses, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported. The staff also told investigators that the younger Dorsey commonly gave his father low-quality supplies such as ill-fitting clothes and half-empty toiletries. Nurses told authorities they felt compelled to buy basic necessities for Dorsey Sr. out of their own pockets.

Dorsey Jr. was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison followed by a year of supervised release, Erskine said. The son was also ordered to pay restitution of more than $23,000.