ANDERSON, S.C. (WSPA) – An Anderson woman pled guilty to conspiracy for her role in a nationwide scheme that exploited veterans and elderly investors.

55-year-old Candy Kern was a managing partner of a law firm based in South Carolina from about 2012 until 2021.

Investigators said Kern used her law firm to facilitate a fraudulent scheme involving an illegal assignment of veterans’ benefits.

Kern served as a banker, legal counsel and debt collector for a group of numerous individuals and small businesses referred to as Structured Cash Flow (SCF).

SCF offered victims an up-front lump sum payment in exchange for their veteran monthly pension and/or disability payments for a period of time according to officials.

Officials said the company would solicit victims to invest in contracts under false pretense that the flow of repayments would translate into a return for the retiree-investors.

Investigators learned that Kern was aware that it is illegal to assign a pension under federal law and that the assignment contracts were in fact void.

The scheme collapsed over time as many veterans were unable to repay their false obligations under contract, officials said.

Approximately $14 million illegally assigned veterans’ benefits flowed through accounts controlled by Kern according to investigators.

Investigators said Kern also pursued enforcement actions against victims who defaulted on payments.

The law firm received about $1,446,336 while mislead victims lost close to $31,352,897.26.

“This elaborate scheme preyed upon and exploited some of our most vulnerable populations, and when it collapsed, it left thousands in financial ruin without adequate resources to retire,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division.

“The Department is committed to protecting servicemembers, veterans, and older adults from fraud. And we are dedicated to ensuring that those involved in this scheme are held accountable.”