She reportedly bought $110K truck while she was represented by a court-appointed attorney and investigator, paid for by the government at a cost of $200K
SAN ANTONIO – A Dripping Springs woman who embellished her Army veteran husband’s wartime injuries to carry out a lengthy fraud scheme was sentenced to nearly four years in prison by a federal judge in San Antonio on Thursday, KPRC 2′s sister station KSAT reported.
Josephine Perez-Gorda, 40, must report to prison by June 5 to begin serving her 46-month sentence.
In September, a jury found Perez-Gorda guilty of all 18 counts against her, which ranged from wire fraud to making false statements related to health care matters and theft of government funds, KSAT reported.
From 2011 to 2017, Perez-Gorda falsely told federal agencies her husband, Army Specialist Justin Perez-Gorda, was paralyzed from the belly button down. Justin Perez-Gorda suffered a traumatic brain injury while serving in Afghanistan in early 2011.
KSAT reported while the couple claimed in Veterans Affairs and Social Security paperwork that he had lost the use of his lower extremities, footage gathered by federal investigators showed Justin Perez-Gorda walking.
Justin Perez-Gorda died while in federal custody in Missouri while awaiting trial early last year. Josephine Perez-Gorda’s attorney revealed in court Thursday that he died of complications from using a catheter for a bladder disorder.
During court proceedings, KSAT reported the judge in the case repeatedly took issue with Josephine Perez-Gorda’s actions, including her buying a $110,000 truck while the criminal case against her was ongoing and while she was represented by a court-appointed attorney. The judge pointed out that the government has spent nearly $200,000 providing her an attorney and an investigator, even though her finances show she is clearly not indigent. The judge also noted that she left her then-husband behind while she took a trip to Disney World, despite filling out caregiver paperwork claiming he needed around-the-clock care, KSAT reported.