Navy vet sentenced to two years in federal custody for fraud

A Navy veteran who was convicted of more than a dozen
fraud charges for running a landscaping business while claiming unemployment
and workers' compensation benefits has been sentenced to two years in federal
custody, court officials announced on Tuesday.

Leray Shurn, 59, received the prison term in U.S. District Court in San
Diego on Monday, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

While handing down the sentence, Judge Thomas Whelan also ordered Shurn
to pay $357,977 in restitution along with a $5,000 fine.

In January, a jury found Shurn guilty of 16 criminal counts in
connection with acts of fraud that spanned more than five years and cheated two
U.S. government agencies out of more than $350,000.

According to evidence presented at trial, Shurn falsely stated to the
Navy and Department of Veterans Affairs that back and knee injuries prevented
him from working as a naval civilian employee.

Shurn also made bogus claims that he was not engaged in any employment
by which he received compensation, was not self-employed, was not involved in
any business enterprises and did not have an ownership interest in any business
enterprises, prosecutors told the jurors.

At trial, the panel heard and saw evidence, including video recordings,
showing that Shurn operated a landscaping business during the period in which
he was making the phony representations of his physical condition.

While running the operation, Shurn personally performed landscaping work
for numerous customers, provided customers with his business card for
“Leray's Landscaping,” gave them monthly invoices and told suppliers he was
in the landscaping business, prosecutors alleged.

Categories: KUSI