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Man accused of stealing from disabled veteran

A Chubbuck man is accused of stealing nearly $260,000 in VA and Social Security funds from a disabled veteran.

A federal grand jury indicted Travis John Attanasio, 53, on charges of wire fraud and theft of government funds Wednesday, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson said.

According to court documents, Attanasio defrauded the victim and federal government between June 2012 and October 2014.

Attanasio was a fiduciary for the victim, and instead of taking care of the veteran’s funds and monthly benefits from the Veteran’s Administration and Social Security Administration, he spent them at various retail and online vendors, including Costco, Apple, Amazon, Cable One, LMC Truck, Goldline and, the attorney’s office said.

The indictment also claims that during the time Attanasio was stealing and spending the money, he knew the victim lived in a state veteran’s home and was disabled.

The charge of wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release. The charge of theft of government funds is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000 and up to three years of supervised release.

If convicted, Attanasio would also forfeit seven guns, hundreds of gold and silver coins, a trailer, and the money in question, according to court documents.

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