A veteran who overbilled for travel to VA Maine Healthcare Systems-Togus – saying he came frequently from far-off Littleton rather than down the road in Chelsea — was sentenced in federal court Thursday to five years of probation and ordered to repay $3,091.
James Patrick Hallowell, 36, of Sabattus, had pleaded guilty Feb. 26 in U.S. District Court in Bangor to a charge of theft of benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
According to the prosecution’s version of events, Hallowell sought travel benefits “to which he knew he was not entitled” in excess of $1,000.
Assistant U.S. Attorney James M. Moore, wrote that Hallowell sought and received reimbursement for 21 round trips between Littleton and Togus, four one-day trips and one round trip from Sabattus to Togus.
Moore said Hallowell told federal investigators that he stayed with friends in Chelsea on several occasions rather than travel to or from Littleton.
Littleton is an Aroostook County town north of Houlton and about 200 miles from the Togus campus, which is in Augusta and Chelsea.
According to court documents, Hallowell received $153.55 for one trip from Littleton to Togus.
Hallowell also was fined $1,500 and ordered to pay a $100 special assessment. He was not in custody.
Hallowell was represented by attorney Joseph Bethony.