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Jackson Man Sentenced for Wire Fraud Scheme Designed to Fraudulently Obtain GI Bill Funds from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Jackson, Miss. – A Jackson man was sentenced to serve one year and one day in prison followed by three years of supervised release and ordered to pay over $402,000 in restitution to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for perpetrating a wire fraud scheme to steal federal funds, announced U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca and Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey Breen with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General.

Anthony Kelley, 60, of Jackson, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Jackson.

Kelley owns Trendsetters Barber College in Jackson, Mississippi.  Trendsetters was certified by the VA and Mississippi’s State Approving Agency to offer courses which would be covered by GI Bill benefits for veterans enrolled in the school’s programs.  Beginning at least as early as October 2016 and continuing through March 2019, Kelley offered a Master Barber course that was not an accredited course of study approved by the state’s Board of Barber Examiners.  Kelley fraudulently represented that this course was an approved course of study and as a result was allowed to collect GI Bill money from veterans enrolled in the program.  At least two veterans were enrolled in the Master Barber program using their GI Bill benefits and, as a result, the VA made interstate wire transfers of federal funds to Kelley based on his fraudulent representations.

An information was filed against Kelley on April 22, 2021.  Kelley pled guilty to two counts of wire fraud on May 20, 2021.

The Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General investigated the case.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Andrew W. Eichner. is an online news source serving Simpson and surrounding counties as well as the State of Mississippi.

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Patrice, wife of Greg Boykin & mother of two sons, Bradley & Alex, is a Magee hometown girl. Patrice retired after 25 years in the Insurance industry and 23 of those years were with State Farm Insurance in Magee. She is very active in the community where she served as Secretary for the Magee Touchdown Club for 18 years and President of the MS Scholars of Simpson County. She was elected to a term on the Simpson County School Board. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Magee Chamber of Commerce. She serves on the Keep Magee Beautiful Committee and is a member of the Advisory Committee for the Simpson County Technical Center. Multiple times, Patrice was named Parent of the Year for Magee Schools as well as District Parent of the Year. Patrice & her family are members of New Hope Baptist Church.


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