Colonel Goes to Prison for Fraudulent Claims
December 21, 2017
A veteran was sentenced to serve eight months in prison after he admitted to stealing government money and making false statements about his military service.
Mr. William R. Jones, 68, pleaded guilty to the offenses in August of 2017.
Mr. Jones enlisted in the Air National Guard in 1971, and worked his way up to lieutenant colonel before retiring from military service in 2002.
Shortly after his retirement, Mr. Jones applied for disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), claiming he suffered badly from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) connected to events he experienced in Vietnam. Mr. Jones also claimed he was in a Special Operations group that was shot down over Vietnam and he received a Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart Medal.
It was later discovered that Mr. Jones never served in Southeast Asia or Republic of Vietnam.
Initially, the VA denied Mr. Jones’ claims for disability benefits after discovering her never served in Vietnam.
After being denied by the VA, Mr. Jones sought out the help of a Veterans Service Officer (VSO) from the American Legion, who helped him obtain benefits from the VA for combat-related injuries based on false statements from Mr. Jones.
By making false statements and manipulating the system, Mr. Jones received over $71,000 from the VA for combat-related disabilities.
In 2013 the American Legion submitted a new claim on Mr. Jones’ behalf for an increase in disability benefits, which included phony service documents and fake certificates that seemingly backed up alleged combat related claims. For additional support for his disability claim, Mr. Jones forwarded the phony documents to Senator Dick Durbin’s office who quickly gave their stamp of approval for Mr. Jones.
After admitting to the trumped up scheme for disability benefits, Mr. Jones was ordered to pay a $40,000 fine, $71,472 in restitution and serve three years of supervised release after he serves his eight month prison term.
Veteran Headed to Prison for Disability Fraud
December 21, 2017
A disabled veteran from St. Louis, Missouri was indicted December 20, 2017, and accused of lying to improperly receive Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability benefits and Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits.
The veteran, Mr. Donald Crangle, 57, suffered a major back injury in 1985 while on active duty with the U.S. Army, and was determined to be 10% disabled shortly after the accident. Due to increased complications from his back injury, Mr. Crangle’s disability rating was increased to 30% in 1990.
In 1999 Mr. Crangle injured his back again, and the injury resulted in major back surgery. Mr. Crangle was determined to be 44% disabled after the accident, but, was able to continue working at his present job.
In 2003 Mr. Crangle applied for an increase in benefits from the VA stating that he was too disabled to work.
However, Mr. Crangle continued to teach at another job that netted him over $245,000 from 2009 – 2013. At the same time, Mr. Crangle racked up over $314,000 from the VA and SSA.
Mr. Crangle was indicted on three counts of theft of government funds and five counts of making false statements.
VA Doctor Reports Veteran for Fraud
December 8, 2017
A veteran in Milwaukee, Wisconsin was recently sentenced to 21 months in prison, followed by three years supervised release and ordered by the presiding Judge to pay restitution in the amount of $201,521.41.
According to court documents, veteran Dean Young formulated a complex scheme to defraud the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Mr. Young’s devious plan was to defraud the VA of compensation and pension benefits by providing false information to VA medical staff.
For example, Mr. Young provided materially false information to the VA about his medical conditions, from which the VA relied upon and ended up awarding pension and compensation benefits to Mr. Young that he was not entitled to receive.
One claim stemmed from a 2013 VA doctor’s appointment during which Mr. Young said he required a wheelchair, scooter, and a cane and that he could only walk a few steps due to excruciating back pain. Following the appointment, the VA doctor witnessed Mr. Young walking across the VA parking lot without use of his wheelchair and walking with what appeared to be a normal gait.
According to the doctor’s statements, Mr. Young folded up his extremely heavy wheelchair and placed it in the trunk of his car without any help. The doctor added that Mr. Young seemed to handle the heavy wheelchair without any difficulty.
Also, VA surveillance enforcement specialists obtained video of Mr. Young the very same day walking down the hallway of his apartment complex and standing in the elevator while carrying what appeared to be a heavy box, all without the aid of a wheelchair, another person to assist him, or his walking cane.