Estate of Denial:  “Creditors just kept calling a permanently hospitalized San Antonio veteran about the delinquent payments on his 2006 Ford Focus, but Joe Cubillos, so disabled that he rarely left the veterans care center, no longer drove and knew nothing about a car.

An investigation revealed that his sister, Rosa Avila, and her daughter had used $180,000 of his money over five years — draining bank accounts, running up credit card debts and buying a new car, while providing Cubillos with pocket money of no more than “$20 at a time.”

Even after their 2011 convictions, the pair claimed they were innocent. Cubillos was generous and had always given away his money to family, they said.

Such swindles aren’t uncommon.

The Veterans Affairs Department‘s inspector general has repeatedly warned about a plague of fraud and theft in a national program that appoints family members and VA-approved fiduciaries to protect a whopping $3.1 billion in assets belonging to veterans the government considers too disabled to manage their own money.”