SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — A Dripping Springs woman was convicted Tuesday of defrauding the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Social Security Administration.

Federal prosecutors said 39-year-old Josephine Perez-Gorda overstated the severity and extent of her spouse’s disability from October 2011 to August 2017.

Perez-Gorda’s now-deceased husband was an Army veteran and the couple had claimed Mr. Perez was paralyzed from the waist down from an injury suffered while on active duty.  The federal prosecutors did not note how Mr. Perez died.

A news story by KENS 5 looked into the Perezes, who had been gifted a specially-adapted house by the non-profit foundation Homes for Our Troops in December 2013.  Video showed that despite Perez-Gorda claiming her husband had been “paralyzed from the belly button down,” Mr. Perez was seen walking around the neighborhood and playing basketball.

Federal prosecutors said Mrs. Perez defrauded the two federal agencies out of more than $300,000 by claiming Mr. Perez had been paralyzed in both legs.

She was found guilty Tuesday by a federal jury on 11 counts of wire fraud, one count of mail fraud, one count of healthcare fraud, three counts of false statements related to a healthcare matter, one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, and one count of theft of government funds.

Perez-Gorda faces up to 20 years in prison for each wire fraud and mail fraud charge, up to 10 years on each of the healthcare fraud and theft of government funds charges, and up to five years on each of the false statement charges.  Her sentencing is scheduled for December 2022.

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