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Funeral director sentenced to probation, community service for VA fraud

A retired funeral director was sentenced Thursday to a year of probation and ordered to perform 80 hours of community service.

Karen Schlager, 60, of Snyder, had previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo to submitting false and fraudulent claims to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Schlager also was ordered to pay $14,900 in restitution to the VA.

Assistant U.S. Attorney MaryEllen Kresse said the defendant, who was funeral director at Schlager Funeral Home in Amherst, submitted claims seeking payment for death benefits that she knew had not been provided to veterans or their families.

Her sentencing was the result of an investigation by the Veterans Administration, Office of Inspector General, Criminal Investigations Division.