Crime & Courts

Cherryville caretaker charged with collecting benefits of dead VA beneficiary

A Cherryville woman has been arrested on charges that relate to defrauding the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs over an 18-month period, Gaston County Police said Friday.

Amber Nicole Chapman, 30, has been charged with obtaining property by false pretense, computer fraud and forgery, according to police.

Chapman is the former caretaker of a VA beneficiary. Investigators with the federal department became suspicious after an internal review showed the beneficiary had died, police said.

From May 2012 to December 2013, officials said that Chapman – who was not related to the beneficiary – continued to collect and withdraw benefit deposits with a fraudulently obtained debit card after the beneficiary had died.

The checks totaled roughly $22,000 in taxpayer money, according to police.

Chapman was released from Gaston County Jail on a $10,000 unsecured bond. Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Gaston County Police: 704-866-3320.