A 26-year-old Athens woman was sentenced Thursday in federal court in Bangor to five years of federal probation for conspiring to collect more than $56,000 in veterans disability benefits fraudulently.

Lisa-Marie T. Watson, also known as Lisa-Marie McAlpine, had pleaded guilty Jan. 5 to conspiracy to defraud the United States and had been free on a personal recognizance bond.

According to the government’s version of events, Watson made false statements to receive disability payments and allowed her father-in-law, David Watson Sr., to submit supporting statements to the VA “falsely claiming that she had suffered from mental disabilities which were connected to her service in the Army.”

Those statements included her saying that she had “suicidal tendencies” as well as “dangerous depression” and “might have been a danger to myself. ” The government, through Assistant U.S. Attorney James M. Moore, says Lisa-Marie Watson did not suffer from the mental condition described in her application.

The benefits were provided 2011 through 2014. Moore’s filing said “David Watson had admitted he gave his daughter-in-law advice while traveling with her to the Togus VA Regional Office about what to say to the VA doctors.”

The case was investigated by Timothy Bond, special agent with the criminal investigation division of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of the Inspector General.

The maximum sentence available was five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Lisa-Marie Watson was represented by attorney Charles W. Hodsdon II.

David B. Watson Sr., of Madison, had pleaded guilty to the same charge and was sentenced in July 2017 to 16 months in federal prison. He is at the Federal Medical Center, Devens, a prison in Massachusetts, and his release date is listed as Sept. 6, 2018. He was ordered to pay back $48,000.

On Thursday at U.S. District Court in Bangor, Judge John A. Woodcock Jr. ordered Lisa-Marie Watson to pay a total of $56,296.02 restitution, with $48,404.97 of that being jointly with her father-in-law.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams


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