Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Monday, February 18, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Night Clear
News >  Idaho

Idaho woman pleads guilty in veterans benefits ruse

BOISE – A southwest Idaho woman whose grandmother received benefits as the wife of a deceased veteran has admitted to collecting about $91,000 by not reporting her grandmother’s death.

Acting U.S. Attorney Rafael Gonzalez announced Thursday that 51-year-old Wendy Ann Payne of Emmett pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to theft of government money.

Authorities say Payne’s grandmother died in 2009 and that Payne intentionally avoided informing the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Authorities say Payne called the agency and pretended to be her deceased grandmother as part of the ruse.

Payne is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 10 and faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. She has agreed to pay back the money she stole.

Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter

Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter

There was a problem subscribing you to the newsletter. Double check your email and try again, or email

You have been successfully subscribed!