THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — Bridget and Jerome Bonheyo both have reached a plea agreement with the U.S. Justice Department to plead guilty for their part in a scheme to defraud the federal government. They’ve each pleaded guilty to one charge of wire fraud. All other charges dropped.
The Bonheyos have now owned up to participating in a video relay service (VRS) scheme in order to pocket money for themselves. By falsely billing the FCC for services they never provided, they were able to tap into a federal fund that was set aside to provide telephone access for all deaf and hard of hearing Americans.
This widespread VRS fraud scheme has resulted in more than two dozen indictments so far — some of whom have already been sent to prison. Reports vary, but the ballpark amount taken by all parties together now seems to be $25 million dollars. We may never know the exact amount. Sadly, some of the most prominent names in the deaf community have either been found guilty, plead guilty and/or are already in prison.
Sentencing for both Bonheyos is scheduled to occur this December. Some of the ringleaders received upwards of 9 years in prison, others received suspended sentences and/or “house arrest.” Some of the ringleaders were required to payback upwards of tens of millions of dollars.
What kind of sentence will the Bonheyos get? My guess is that it’ll be in the middle of the pack somewhere.
Source: Case #3:11-cr-00861-JAP-1 (See condensed copy of plea agreement document below.)
A nod to: vrsjustice & clercjr
My earlier articles on the Bonheyo fraud case:
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