VARNVILLE, S.C. (WSAV) — A Varnville man is facing up to 50 years in prison for stealing funds from military veterans.

Raymond Huffman, 61, pleaded guilty to stealing funds from ten veterans as a fiduciary.

According to information presented to the Court, Huffman was appointed to be a fiduciary to receive payments on behalf of veterans who, as a result of wars, injury, disease, or infirmities of advanced age, could not manage their VA benefits. Instead of assisting, Huffman stole money from these veterans, officials say.

“Stealing funds meant for a veteran is a despicable crime,” said U.S. Attorney Corey F. Ellis. “We owe it to our veterans, who have sacrificed so much for this country, to ensure they are not victimized when they most need assistance. I am grateful for the hard work from our federal and local partners.”

Evidence obtained in the investigation showed that Huffman misused funds intended for at least 10 of his VA clients, including the estate of a veteran who passed away in 2018, through his company, Huffman Fiduciary Services.

Huffman admitted to misusing and stealing money from some of his VA clients. In total, Huffman stole at least $304,413.75, and received over $10,000 in fees.

Williams faces a maximum penalty of 50 years in federal prison, a fine of up to $250,000, restitution, and 30 years of supervision to follow the term of imprisonment.  United States District Judge Bruce Howe Hendricks accepted the guilty plea and will sentence Huffman after receiving and reviewing a sentencing report prepared by the United States Probation Office.

“Today’s plea should send a clear message that the VA Office of Inspector General will vigorously investigate those who steal from our nation’s veterans,” said VA Office of Inspector General Special Agent in Charge Kim Lampkins. “The VA OIG will continue to ensure that veterans and other beneficiaries who rely on the critical financial services of VA-appointed fiduciaries are not exploited by greed for financial gain.”

This case was investigated by the VA Office of Inspector General with assistance from Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office, and the Office of the Solicitor for the First Judicial Circuit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Kittrell is prosecuting the case in federal court and Assistant Solicitor Shannon N. Elliott of the First Circuit Solicitor’s Office prosecuted the case in state court.