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60-year-old faces trial in scheme to defraud Michigan, U.S. Veterans Affairs department

Sophia Quill allegedly created fake documents to claim nearly $500,000 worth of death benefits
Three Michigan residents are accused of creating fake documents to collect VA death benefits.
Three Michigan residents are accused of creating fake documents to collect VA death benefits.(KSWO)
Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 11:42 AM EDT
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WAYNE COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) - A 60-year-old woman will stand trial on charges that accuse her of defrauding Michigan and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs out of nearly $500,000.

The Michigan Attorney General’s Office says Sophia Quill waived her preliminary hearing in Wayne County District Court, so her case will proceed directly to trial in circuit court.

“I am glad to see this case move to trial,” Michigan Attorney General Dana 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.”

Investigators say Quill and two others created fake names and fraudulent documents that appeared to show they were heirs to various people who died. They allegedly used those to obtain death benefits on the people’s behalf.

Prosecutors say they fraudulently obtained $430,000 for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and more than $40,000 from the Michigan Department of Treasury from 2013 to 2019.

Quill is charged with racketeering, four counts of false pretenses of $50,000 to $100,000, two counts of false pretenses of $20,000 to $50,000 and two counts of false pretenses of $1,000 to $20,000. She also is charged as a four-time habitual offender, which could land her behind bars for life if convicted.

Melissa Flores of Westland and Quill’s son, Steven Decker of Wyandotte, both are facing charges related to the same fraud scheme.

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