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SC man pleads guilty to defrauding Veterans Affairs

April 10, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A 48-year-old South Carolina man has pleaded guilty to fraudulently enrolling veterans in his barber school.

U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles says Charles Harris of Ninety-Six pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy to defraud the United States.

Nettles says Harris admitted to enrolling veterans in his Greenwood Barber College after helping them sign up for retraining benefits and college aid provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Harris admitted veterans didn’t have to actually attend classes at his school. He falsified their attendance and performance records so they could continue to get VA benefits, as long as they paid him $400 a month.

Agents estimate the fraud cost the VA more than $140,000.

Harris will be sentenced later. He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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