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Fairbanks man sentenced for fraud

Posted: Friday, July 25, 2003

FAIRBANKS (AP) A man convicted defrauding the Veterans Administration was sentenced Thursday to more than two years in prison.

Donald Hymes, 68, received a 28-month sentence and was ordered to pay $78,000 in restitution for what prosecutor Steve Cooper called a fraudulent scheme conducted for more than 10 years.

During a five-day trial that ended in early May, Hymes was convicted of collecting monthly VA checks meant for his mother, the widow of a veteran, after she died.

He was convicted of 45 counts ranging from mail fraud to money laundering and illegal conversion of currency.

A statute of limitations provision limited the government to charging Hymes for fraudulently collecting a little more than $10,000 during the last five years before he was caught. But U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline sided with the prosecution and ordered Hymes to pay restitution for all illegal activities since starting his scheme in 1990.

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