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Justice Is Investigating 60 ‘Phony Soldiers’

We have posted some of this information from Mr. Sullivan before. And the great Mark Levin has interviewed him.

But the courageous folks at Cybercast News are so far the only media outlet to bother to report it:


Government Investigating More Than 60 ‘Phony Soldier’ Cases

By Fred Lucas

October 05, 2007

(CNSNews.com) -The federal government is currently conducting more than 60 “stolen valor” investigations of individuals suspected of making false claims about their military records, according to the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, and about 30 people nationwide have been arrested in the past year for crimes related to falsifying a military record.

Stolen valor typically occurs when someone falsifies documents or produces medals and awards from the military they didn’t earn in order to qualify for veterans benefits.

Jeffrey Sullivan, the U.S. attorney in the Western District of Washington, prosecuted Jesse Macbeth of Tacoma, Wash., in the past year as well as five others who falsely claimed heroic military service…

For some, federal officials said, the motive for stolen valor is psychological, as a former soldier yearns to be a hero. But for most, the motive is financial, a means of getting certain federal benefits and medical care that come with being a veteran.

“In the six cases we’ve done, it has resulted in an estimated $1.4 million loss for the Veterans Administration,” Sullivan told Cybercast News Service. “There are a significant amount of scam artists and phonies. They take money that legitimate vets deserve.”

Sullivan said this fraud “does truly hurt the men and women of the armed forces who legitimately put their lives on the line.” …

The length of sentencing for “stolen valor” can vary based on a number of factors, Sullivan told Cybercast News Service.

For example, Larry Lewis Porter, 52, of Seattle, cost the government $134,000, according to Sullivan’s office. Porter was sentenced last April to 37 months in prison for fraudulently obtaining disability benefits from the Veterans Administration (VA) by fabricating post-traumatic stress syndrome from his experience in the U.S. Navy – an experience that never happened

However, Reggie Buddle, 60, of Puyallup, Wash., was sentenced to 500 hours of community service, because he falsely posed as a decorated U.S. Marine chaplain and presided over Marine weddings, funerals and baptisms.

Most offenders served in the U.S. military but embellished their tales, said Jim O’Neill, assistant inspector general for investigations at the VA.

“Most served, some served honorably, but just falsified their combat experience or something that never occurred to get benefits,” he told Cybercast News Service. “They only make up 5 percent of our case load of investigations, but we take them very seriously.” …

Kudos to CNSNews for reporting this.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, October 5th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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