Woman Accused of Stealing Millions From the Military

Woman Allegedly Stole $100 Million From the Army

(USNewsBreak.com) – One Texas woman is accused of devising an elaborate scheme targeting government funds. In the end, she allegedly stole over $100 million from the US Army. She could face more than 100 years in prison for her crimes if she’s convicted.

In a press release dated Wednesday, December 6, the US Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas announced that prosecutors had indicted Janet Yamanaka Mello, 57, on several charges. Authorities allege she created an entity, Child Health and Youth Lifelong Development, for which she billed the US Army more than $100 million over several years. At the time, she worked as a financial program manager at Fort Sam Houston. She claimed her company offered contract services to military members and their families, but the entity was a shell. It didn’t provide any services at all.

Mello reportedly used the money to purchase 31 real estate properties in several states, including Maryland, Texas, Colorado, Washington, and New Mexico. Several of the properties were worth over $1 million. She also purchased jewelry and luxury vehicles with the money she allegedly stole.

The scheme caught up to Mello when the IRS flagged suspicious activity regarding her income vs profit regarding her business. The only time she claimed her business activity was in 2017. From there, authorities investigated and seized more than $18 million in cash from several accounts linked to Mello. According to the indictment notice, the federal government also issued a forfeiture notice for the real estate properties or material goods Mello purchased with gains from her alleged criminal conduct.

A San Antonio federal grand jury indicted the erstwhile contractor on five counts of mail fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft, and four counts of engaging in a monetary transaction exceeding $10,000 using criminally derived proceeds.

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