Conwoman To Plead Guilty After Stealing Over $100 Million In Largest Of Any Military Scams

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A millionaire con artist plans to plead guilty to stealing over $100 million in largest of any known military scams.

Janet Yamanaka Mello, 57, is set to enter a guilty plea next week for her involvement in defrauding the U.S. Army of $108 million.

Contractor responsible for one of the largest military scams in history

Mello used the funds to finance her extravagant lifestyle which includes a portfolio of  31 properties and an assortment of 70 plus luxury vehicles.

Mello’s scam represents one of the largest instances of financial deceit the military has dealt with to date.

In her role as a Financial Program Manager for the Child and Youth Services (CYS) at Fort Sam Houston in Texas, Mello, managed to funnel vast sums of cash intended for childern towards her lavish personal expenditures.

In 2016, she established a sham company named Child Health and Youth Lifelong Development (CHYLD), which was set up to manage her criminal activities through.

Over the span of seven years, Mello filed false paperwork that led her company to wrongly receive payments 40 times at UPS stores where she rented P.O. boxes.

Her deceit was uncovered by the IRS after she mistakenly including CHYLD in her personal tax filing.

This inclusion resulted in under-reported income, which set off alarm bells for the authorities, as it did not line up with her less than $150,000 a year government salary.

The IRS’ criminal investigation division joined forces with the Army’s criminal investigators and orchestrated a raid on Mello’s residence in August.

How the conwoman behind the one of the worst military scams spent more than $100 million

When investigators dug into her finances, they discovered how the financial thief spent the more than $100 million she stole.

Mello amassed 31 properties across the nation, including condos, homes, and a couple of estates scattered across Colorado, Maryland, New Mexico, Texas, and Washington.

The New York Post highlighted one of her most extravagant properties, a Preston, Maryland mansion priced at $3.1 million.

The home sits on on 58 acres of land, boasting eight bedrooms and a staggering 12 bathrooms plus a garage large enough for 55 vehicles.

Her automotive collection is no less impressive, featuring over 78 luxury cars and motorcycles.

Standouts include four Ducatis, 16 Harley-Davidsons, Maseratis, Ferraris, two Aston Martins, a 1966 Ford Mustang, and a 1954 Chevrolet Corvette, some vehicles valuing over $150,000.

Mello’s luxury shopping habits led her to collect pieces from prominent brands like Coach, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton.

She earned the moniker of the ‘Gucci Goddess’ from flaunting her lavish purchase, despite only supposedly making a $130,000 a year government salary.

The investigation also revealed over $18 million across six bank accounts linked to Mello or her entity, CHYLD.

The government’s pursuit to claim these assets is ongoing, but Mello told the court she would forfeit any ill-gotten gains if convicted in February.

Woman behind military scams files plea deal

In a plea before the US District Court for the Western District of Texas on Wednesday, Mello admitted guilt to the five charges of mail fraud and five related to filing incorrect tax returns.

She faces up to 125 years in prison, but no details about her plea deal have been made public, nor has a court date been scheduled.

After the criminal raid, Mello was allowed to retire with full benefits, despite the allegations against her.

The Army stated that they had no power over her retirement benefits, which are protected under federal law.

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