New Mexico woman pleads guilty in VA fraud case

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – A Las Cruces woman will have to pay more than $147,000 in restitution after pleading guilty to theft of government property and forgery charges stemming from a scheme to defraud the Department of Veteran Affairs.

Federal prosecutors said 54-year-old Donah Davison entered her plea Wednesday. She will face four months in prison as part of a plea agreement.

Davison was charged in November in a multi-count indictment. Most of the counts stemmed from allegations that she deposited surviving-spouse benefit checks to which she wasn’t entitled.

Prosecutors say Davison admitted that when her mother died in 1997, she failed to inform the VA of her mother’s death and continued to collect and deposit the checks into her own bank account after signing her mother’s signature on the back of the checks.