Kerns Set To Plead Guilty To Embezzling Government Funds Meant For His Helpless Sister

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Federal authorities said a local man who has been using government funds designated for his helpless adult sister will plead guilty to embezzlement.

Authorities said William C. Kerns applied the funds toward a personal credit card starting at least as early as August 2006 and continuing until about December 2008.

Kerns was a fiduciary for the benefit of an incompetent beneficiary of funds administered by the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs due to their father being a veteran.

He "knowingly and fraudulently did use, embezzle and misappropriate property, that is, United States funds, such property coming into the defendant's control and under the color of such fiduciary's office and service, in the execution of defendant's fiduciary trust, in violation of Title 38 United States Code, Section 61 01," it was stated.

The stipend was from the Department of Veteran Affairs.

Kerns was appointed his sister's financial and legal guardian after the death of their mother in 1985. The benefits had been deposited in one account since 1999.

Authorities said Kerns never reported the veterans income to the state of Tennessee, causing the state to increase TennCare funds sent to the sister.

Officials of the special facility where the sister resides said they were not aware that she was getting veterans benefits.

Kerns used the funds "to maintain a personal credit card," it was stated.

It is agreed that he will receive probation, but he will be required to make restitution, it was stated.

Kerns is represented by attorney Bryan Hoss.


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