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Disbarred Attorney Sentenced To 51 Months In Prison For Stealing 9/11 Victim Compensation Funds


On April 19, 2021, a disbarred non-DOJ attorney was sentenced to 51 months of imprisonment and 3 years of supervised released, ordered to forfeit $922,559.84, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $867,870.76 for one count of theft government funds.  Gustavo Vila was sentenced in the Southern District of New York.  According to the Complaint, the Information, and other court filings and statements made in open court, from in or about 2012 through at least in or about 2019, Vila represented a retired New York City Police Department officer in connection with the retired officer’s claim for compensation from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF).  Vila held himself out as an attorney to the retired officer during that entire time, despite that he was disbarred 2015.  In or about October 2016, the VCF deposited over $1 million dollars in Vila’s bank account on the retired officer’s behalf.  Vila sent only approximately 10% to the retired officer and stole over $900,000 of those funds.  The investigation was conducted by the OIG’s Fraud Detection Office.

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