(CBS DETROIT) – A suspect in a scheme to defraud the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Michigan Department of Treasury out of nearly half a million dollars will face trial, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced.

Sophia Quill, 60, waived a preliminary exam in Wayne County’s 18th District Court, meaning the case will be sent to the circuit court for trial.

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Quill has been charged with:

  • one count of conducting a criminal enterprise, a felony punishable by up to 20 years’ imprisonment, a $100,000 fine, and forfeiture of proceeds and items used during the crime
  • four counts of obtaining between $50,000 and $100,000 using a false pretense, a felony punishable by 15 years’ imprisonment and a $25,000 fine or three times the value of the money or property involved, whichever is greater
  • two counts of obtaining between $20,000 and $50,000 using a false pretense, a felony punishable by 15 years’ imprisonment and a $15,000 fine or three times the value of the money or property involved, whichever is greater
  • two counts of obtaining between $1,000 and $20,000 using a false pretense, a felony punishable by five years’ imprisonment, and a $10,000 fine or three times the value of the money or property involved, whichever is greater.

She is being charged as a fourth habitual offender and will face a maximum term of life imprisonment if convicted.

Quill and her co-defendant, Melissa R. Flores, 53, allegedly created aliases and obtained or created fraudulent documents, including vital records like birth certificates, to make it appear that they were heirs to various individuals who had died.

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“I am glad to see this case move to trial,” Nessel said. “My office will not stand for attempts to take advantage of the agencies that offer benefits to the public, especially to our brave service members and their families. There must be accountability.”

It is alleged that Quill and Flores defrauded the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) out of more than $430,000 and the Michigan Department of Treasury out of more than $40,000.

Quill’s son Steven Decker, 32, who was arraigned last year, allegedly received proceeds from the scheme and used some of the money to conceal property used to conduct the fraud.

Quill’s Wayne County Circuit Court arraignment is set for July 2.

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