SCHeadlines

Varnville Man Stole More Than $300K From Veterans In ‘Fiduciary’ Scheme

“A despicable crime …”

A 61-year-old Varnville man has pleaded guilty to a scheme in which he stole more than $300,000 from 10 military veterans, the United States Attorney’s Office District of South Carolina announced Wednesday morning.

Raymond Huffman of Huffman Fiduciary Services was appointed to be a fiduciary through a program administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. In that role, Huffman received payments on behalf of veterans who, as a result of wars, injury, disease, or infirmities of advanced age, could not manage their VA benefits, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

“Instead, Huffman stole money from these veterans,” the release states.

“Stealing funds meant for a veteran is a despicable crime,” said U.S. Attorney Corey F. Ellis. “We owe it to our veterans, who have sacrificed so much for this country, to ensure they are not victimized when they most need assistance. I am grateful for the hard work from our federal and local partners.”


Evidence showed that Huffman misused money — at least $304,413.75 — that was intended for at least 10 of his VA clients.

“The victims included the estate of a veteran who had passed away in 2018.”

For his work with these veterans, Huffman received fees “in excess of $10,000.”

Huffman faces a maximum penalty of 50 years in federal prison. He also faces a fine of up to $250,000, restitution, and 30 years of supervision to follow the term of imprisonment. 

United States District Judge Bruce Howe Hendricks accepted the guilty plea and will sentence Huffman after receiving and reviewing a sentencing report prepared by the United States Probation Office.

This case was investigated by the VA Office of Inspector General, specifically Special Agent Robert Breunig; with assistance from Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office, specifically, Sgt. Chaz Easterlin; and the Office of the Solicitor for the First Judicial Circuit.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Kittrell is prosecuting the case in federal court and Assistant Solicitor Shannon N. Elliott of the First Circuit Solicitor’s Office prosecuted the case in state court.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

(Via: Provided)

Liz Farrell is the new executive editor at FITSNews. She was named 2018’s top columnist in the state by South Carolina Press Association and is back after taking a nearly two-year break from corporate journalism to reclaim her soul. Email her at liz@fitsnews.com or tweet her @ElizFarrell.

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