PITTSBURGH, PA – A resident of New Kensington, Pennsylvania, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on a charge of misappropriation of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) beneficiary funds, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
The one-count Indictment charges Andrew Ziacik, 57, as the sole defendant. According to the Indictment, Ziacik was appointed as a Federal Fiduciary for a VA beneficiary and, as such, was responsible for receiving the beneficiary’s VA income and ensuring the beneficiary’s debts were paid. The Indictment further charges that Ziacik engaged in a pattern of conduct between July 2013 and late 2017 that violated his Fiduciary Agreement, including by making approximately $25,000 in unauthorized ATM cash withdrawals from the beneficiary’s VA bank account and transferring approximately $135,000 of the beneficiary’s VA benefits to Ziacik’s personal bank accounts. In addition, the Indictment alleges that the defendant misused the beneficiary’s VA benefits for his personal benefit including through financing payments made to Harley Davidson, the purchase of a diamond ring, and the purchase of a GMC truck, all in violation of Ziacik’s Fiduciary Agreement. Moreover, the Indictment also alleges that Ziacik failed to maintain accurate records and receipts related to the disposition of the beneficiary’s VA benefits, as required. and failed to provide complete and accurate records in response to a formal accounting initiated by the VA.
The law provides for a maximum total sentence of not more than five (5) years in prison, a fine of not more than $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorney Eric G. Olshan is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation leading to the Indictment in this case.
An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.