Couple sentenced for embezzling funds intended for Marines

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A couple convinced of the embezzlement of federal funds intended for wounded Marines were sentenced in San Diego Thursday.

Last summer, Judith Ann Paixao, 61, and husband Kevin Lombard, 64, were found guilty of mail fraud, false claims, conspiracy to defraud the federal government and theft from an organization receiving federal funds.

Friday, they were sentenced to a 12-month custody term for Paixao and a 6-month custody term for Lombard, each serving half their term in home confinement. U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey Miller also ordered the couple to pay $150,000 in penalties and restitution.

Court documents state that the couple submitted false claims to get funds for training and equipment that was never provided. The crossover between personal funds and funds used for the foundation prevented the IRS from monitoring the foundation’s tax-exempt status.

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The couple started the Wounded Marine Careers Foundation to train wounded Marines from Afghanistan and Iraq for jobs in the film industry and despite using $200,000 to start the foundation, ended up taking over $400,000 from the foundations funds over the course of two years, prosecutors at the trial said.

Although some of the funds were used to pay back the initial donation, the couple allegedly used funds to pay for a family vacation to Bermuda and a sailing trip around the San Diego Bay on New Year’s Day.

Judge Miller explains the low sentence times citing the couple “began with a vision or goal that was worthy,” showed support for the community, and had a low chance of recidivism. 

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