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Co-conspirator to face trail in scheme to defraud VA, Michigan Treasury out of nearly $500,000

The women allegedly created aliases and obtained or created fake documents to make it appear they were heirs to various people who died.
Gavel, scales of justice and law books -- stock image.

LANSING, Mich — Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Friday that a suspect in a scheme to defraud the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Michigan Department of Treasury out of more than $470,000 will face trail.

Sophia J. Quill, 60, faces several charges in relation to the scheme. Earlier Friday, she waived preliminary exam in Wayne County’s 18th District Court. The case will now move to circuit court for trial.

Below is a list of her charges, as provided by the Office of the Attorney General:

  • one count of conducting a criminal enterprise, a felony punishable by up to 20 years’ imprisonment, a $100,000 fine and forfeiture of proceeds and items used during the crime;
  • four counts of obtaining between $50,000 and $100,000 using a false pretense, a felony punishable by 15 years’ imprisonment and a $25,000 fine or three times the value of the money or property involved, whichever is greater;
  • two counts of obtaining between $20,000 and $50,000 using a false pretense, a felony punishable by 15 years’ imprisonment and a $15,000 fine or three times the value of the money or property involved, whichever is greater; and
  • two counts of obtaining between $1,000 and $20,000 using a false pretense, a felony punishable by five years’ imprisonment and a $10,000 fine or three times the value of the money or property involved, whichever is greater.

Quill is also charged as a fourth habitual offender, so she is facing a maximum term of life imprisonment if convicted of any of the charges.

"I am glad to see this case move to trial,” Nessel said. “My office will not stand for attempts to take advantage of the agencies that offer benefits to the public, especially to our brave servicemembers and their families. There must be accountability.”

According to the state, Quill and her co-defendant, Melissa Flores, allegedly created aliases and obtained or created fake documents to make it appear they were heirs to various people who died.

It is alleged that the women defrauded the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) out of more than $430,000 and the Michigan Department of Treasury out of more than $40,000 between 2013 and 2019.

Quill’s Wayne County Circuit Court arraignment is set for July 2.

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