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Colonel Goes to Prison for Fradulent 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.