Pickens woman sentenced to 15 months for stealing veterans benefits
Pickens woman kept second marriage secret from government after first husband's death
A Pickens woman has been sentenced for fifteen months on fraud charges for using her deceased husband's name to collect his military benefits.
U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles announced on Friday that Megan Nichole Hanson Mosteller, 26, of Pickens was sentenced in federal court for theft of government funds.
Mosteller was convicted earlier this year. Evidence presented by the government established that Mosteller had married Jeremy Mosteller, a Marine.
But Megan and Jeremy separated just a few months after their wedding, Nettles said.
Jeremy Mosteller died on March 7, 2008.
Three days after his death, Megan Mosteller filed for Survivor's Benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs. Nettles said Megan Mosteller had claimed to have lived with Jeremy continuously until his death.
Five months after Jeremy died, Megan Mosteller married David Redding, Jr. and the couple purchased a home in Easley.
After marrying Redding, Megan Mosteller continued to use the name Mosteller to hide her new marriage. She continued to collect VA benefits during this time, Nettles said.
She also applied for, and received, Education Benefits from the Department of Veteran's Affairs.
Two and a half years after Mosteller began receiving the VA benefits, an investigation was launched after someone reported Mosteller, Nettles said.
The benefits were stopped after the fraud came to light. At that time, Mosteller had already received $37,000, Nettles said.
He said if her fraud had not been detected, she would have received over $800,000 in benefits.
United States District Judge Terry L. Wooten sentenced Mosteller to 15 months imprisonment, three years supervised release, and ordered her to $32,718.15 in restitution.
The case was investigated by agents of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Assistant United States Attorney William E. Day, II of the Florence office handled the case.