Fayette County

Former Lexington attorney gets prison for stealing $640,000 from disabled veteran

A former attorney from Lexington who forfeited his license to practice law when he pleaded guilty to stealing Social Security benefits from a disabled veteran was sentenced Tuesday to nearly 31/2 years in prison.

Brian P. Gilfedder was accused in federal court in Ohio of taking $639,618 in benefits from a veteran he represented, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Ohio.

In January, Gilfedder pleaded guilty to "devising a scheme to defraud, embezzle, steal and knowingly convert" the veteran's money for his own use, the news release said. Court documents identified the veteran only as J.M.

Gilfedder was appointed to manage J.M.'s financial accounts in 1990 as part of the Veterans Affairs Fiduciary Program, established to provide for veterans and other beneficiaries who are unable to manage their financial affairs because of disease, injury or age.

The fraud began about January 1991 and continued until August 2011, according to court documents. Gilfedder submitted false bank statements and embezzled the money, a document said.

After serving his 41-month sentence, Gilfedder must serve three years of supervised release and must pay restitution to the VA and the Social Security Administration for the entire amount stolen, the news release said.