BOSTON (WWLP) – A Rhode Island woman formerly from North Easton, Massachusetts pleaded guilty Tuesday in Boston federal court to stealing approximately $74,000 in Veteran Affairs (VA) and Office of Personnel Management (OPM) benefits from a veteran she was sworn to protect.

According the office of US Attorney Rachel Rollins, 55-year-old Lisa Heino of Newport, Rhode Island pleaded guilty to two counts of theft of public funds.

In May of 2014, Heino was appointed by a Massachusetts State Court to serve as the conservator of the victim, who was a veteran and former federal employee. In October of that year, she then became the payee for the victim through OPM benefits. With access to the victim’s VA and OPM benefits, Heino transferred payments from the victim’s account to her own bank account and used the money for her own expenses.

Court documents say between June 2017 and August 2018, Heino stole $44,191 in VA funds from the victim. In addition, between January 2017 and January 2019, she stole $29,853 in OPM funds from the victim. Heino was removed as the victim’s conservator in 2017 and as the victim’s payee in 2019 but continued to access the veteran’s bank account and federal benefits. While being interviewed by detectives, Heino admitted to taking benefits payments from the victim’s bank account while she was the conservator. She was later charged on June 1, 2022.

The charges of theft of government funds each provide for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. She is scheduled to be sentenced on December 2.