A Bunker Hill man was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.
In a press release Wednesday, Acting U.S. Attorney James L. Porter said Terrence Starks, 37, also was ordered to serve three years supervised release following his release from prison and pay restitution totaling $19,260.26.
Starks worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs and in his position he accessed the agency’s computerized software system for the payment and distribution of benefits. That database contained the names, Social Security numbers, birth dates and bank account information. Starks fraudulently changed the routing number and account number of veteran recipients’ benefits to an account controlled by Starks through his girlfriend, thereby misrepresenting to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that the veteran or survivor was still receiving the benefits.
The successful prosecution is the result of an investigation conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General. The prosecution of the case was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Norman R. Smith.