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Society57-year-old millionaire accused of swindling over $100M from US Army for lavish lifestyle retires with full benefits amid IRS...

57-year-old millionaire accused of swindling over $100M from US Army for lavish lifestyle retires with full benefits amid IRS probe, asserts ‘I earned it!’

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Houston, USA: Janet Yamanaka Mello, a 57-year-old former civilian finance manager at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, has been embroiled in a significant controversy. Despite being under criminal investigation for allegedly defrauding the US Army out of $100 million, Mello was able to retire with full benefits. Her alleged scheme involved creating a shell company in 2016, purportedly to manage funds for military youth programs. Instead, it is claimed that she diverted these funds for personal use, acquiring an extravagant array of 80 supercars and 31 homes.

The military, constrained by federal law and bureaucratic processes, admitted their inability to revoke her retirement benefits. Mello’s retirement is covered by the Federal Employee Retirement Service (FERS), which includes a basic benefit plan, social security, and a thrift savings plan. Her attorney, Albert Flores, maintains that Mello ‘earned’ her retirement benefits, and sees no correlation between the investigation and these benefits.

Mello’s alleged fraudulent activities include regularly filing false paperwork and depositing grants into her fake business, CHYLD, over a six-year period, amassing over $100 million. She is accused of using a digital signature not her own for approvals and transactions, raising questions about oversight and internal controls within the Army’s administrative systems.

The case has brought to light the broader issue of public sector worker protections and the challenges in monitoring and preventing such extensive fraud. Mello’s indictment includes charges of mail fraud, engaging in monetary transactions with criminally derived proceeds, and aggravated identity theft, according to UK’s Mail Online. If convicted, she faces substantial prison time. This case stands as one of the most significant fraud cases the military has ever encountered, highlighting the need for more stringent checks and balances in government financial management systems.


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Muzaffar Ahmad Noori Bajwa
Muzaffar Ahmad Noori Bajwa
Editor-in-chief, The Eastern Herald. Counter terrorism, diplomacy, Middle East affairs, Russian affairs and International policy expert.

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