Marine Arrested For Theft Of Benefit Payments
Veterans do a lot to protect our country from threats. As such, they are awarded many benefits during service, once they retire from service, and when they become disabled.
These veterans disability benefits, however, are not for those who are dishonest. They are for those who have legitimate medical conditions and disabilities. When a person steals benefits or otherwise engages in fraud, it can lead to harsh penalties as well as delays for those who really do need benefits.
A former Marine from Massachusetts was recently arrested after stealing benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The 52-year-old man was arrested on one count of theft of government money and one count of making false statements.
The incidents occurred between January 1, 2010 and March 11, 2023,. During that time, the man is believed to have stolen more than $344,000 in veterans disability benefits. The man was charged with making a false statement after submitting an application for a Purple Heart award on October 24, 2018. He falsely stated to the United States Marine Corps that he had suffered a traumatic brain injury and other injuries from a roadside explosion that occurred while he was deployed in Northern Iraq.
If convicted of the crimes, the man faces 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine (or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater). After he serves his time in prison, he also faces three years of supervised release. For the charge of making a false statement, he faces the same penalties, except five years in prison instead of 10.
The man’s conduct is a slap in the face to veterans who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country and have truly earned their right to disability benefits. The man engaged in theft and made false statements for this personal gain. He claimed valor where there is none, insulting the country’s veterans.
Government Benefit Theft
Theft of government benefits has been on the rise in recent years. People are filing fraudulent claims and stealing identities in order to obtain benefits from various agencies. People often try to steal unemployment benefits, disability benefits, veterans benefits, and food stamps.
When identity theft occurs, you may not know about it for a long time. Therefore, you need to be aware of possible signs. They may include the following:
- Bills for items you did not purchase
- Debt collection calls for accounts you did not open
- Denials of loan applications
- Mail missing from your mailbox
Learn More About Veterans Benefits
Veterans benefits are available to those who need it. However, because of the amount of fraud that occurs, getting these benefits can be complicated.
A White Plains veterans disability benefits lawyer from The Law Office of Michael Lawrence Varon can help you get the benefits you need and deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call 914-294-2145 or fill out the online form.