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Vershire Man Sentenced for Lying to VA About Mileage Costs

White River Junction — A 45-year-old Vershire man was ordered to pay more than $24,000 in restitution for giving a false address when applying for travel reimbursement from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Scott Lavertue was sentenced to five years probation, including four months of home confinement, for telling the VA that he was living in Richford, Vt., when in reality he was living much closer to the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in White River Junction.

In certain circumstances, the VA reimburses transportation costs for veterans when they travel to and from a VA medical facility for treatment.

Lavertue submitted 340 mileage reimbursement claims between Nov. 2, 2009 and April 20, 2011, and most of those stated that he was living in Richford, Vt., according to court records.

Richford, Vt., is along the U.S.- Canada border and is about 127 miles from the VA Medical Center in White River Junction.

The case was handled at the federal courthouse in Burlington and Assistant United States Attorney Kevin Doyle said Monday that it’s unclear where Lavertue was living between 2009 and 2011, but he was likely living in Vershire, located 37 miles from the VA, or somewhere even closer to the White River Junction facility.

Lavertue pleaded guilty on Aug. 12 to knowingly submitting false claims for reimbursement to the VA, and he was formally sentenced on Dec. 12.

Doyle said that Lavertue did have an address in Richford, although there was no structure on the property.

Lavertue could not be reached for comment.

The Department of Veterans Affairs reimburses 41.5 cents per mile for veteran travel.

More than 6,000 veterans utilized the mileage reimbursement through the White River Junction VA Medical Center and associated community-based outpatient clinics during fiscal year 2013.

Veterans qualify if they receive VA pension benefits, have an annual income below the maximum applicable annual rate of pension, and can present clear evidence that they are unable to defray the cost of travel, among other conditions.

Sarah Brubeck can be reached at sbrubeck@vnews.com or 603-727-3223.