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This Woman Allegedly Scammed $100 Million From The Army. Now She’s Retiring With Benefits

via Federal Court Docs
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Janet Yamanaka Mello, a former Army civilian financial program manager, has been accused of embezzling over $100 million through a fraudulent scheme involving a phony nonprofit.

Despite ongoing criminal investigations and facing charges of mail fraud and identity theft, she retired with full benefits due to limitations in federal law.

Mello’s attorney argues that her retirement funds should not be affected, as she earned them through years of civil service.

“The command has no authority to impact Ms. Mello’s retirement,” an Army Installation Management Command spokesperson stated.

“In accordance with 5 U.S. Code Section 8312, an individual may be denied an annuity or retired pay on the basis of the service of the individual, if the individual is convicted of treason, rebellion or insurrection, or other similar offenses. There is no similar statutory authority for denying retired pay based on a conviction of other offenses.”

Prosecutors aim to seize any illegally acquired assets, and Mello’s attorney claims they are cooperating to recover a significant portion of the assets, including real estate and cash.

“All in all, [Mello] went through this process over forty times during a six-year period, securing over $100,000,000 for herself in the process,” federal prosecutors wrote.

“She earned it,” Mello’s attorney Albert Flores said. “I don’t see how one thing is related to the other.”

“We expect a large portion of the assets will be recovered,” Flores said. “In other words, a lot of the money was spent on tangible assets that the government can (recoup) — real estate, cash, vehicles, properties, things of that nature. We’re being very cooperative in anything we can to turn that over.”

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