Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Virginia State News

September 12, 2012

Retired Va. reservist sentenced to 3½ years

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A retired Virginia Air National Guard officer has been sentenced to 3½ years in prison for forging death certificates so she could collect life insurance benefits.

Vickie T. Armes was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Richmond.

Armes collected more than $800,000 from Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance by falsely claiming both her own death and her husband's. According to court papers, she squandered the money on Internet gambling. She pleaded guilty to stealing government funds.

Armes' attorney cited the woman's gambling addiction in asking for a lenient sentence. However, prosecutors produced new evidence showing Armes previously pulled the same scam against another insurance company.

Armes served 31 years in the Virginia Air National Guard, rising to the rank of chief master sergeant.

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