A Charleston, North Carolina man collected nearly $200,000 in VA benefits over the past few years while listed as a Navy medic who received two Purple Hearts for his service in Vietnam.
But Keith R. Hudson, 70, was never in the military, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina said Wednesday.
“This is a particularly awful type of white-collar crime,” U.S. Attorney Sherri Lydon said in a news release. “Veteran health benefits are for those who served our nation in the military. The VA has limited numbers of physicians and resources. There is not much to spare.”
Hudson pleaded guilty in federal court to defrauding the VA of $197,237. He faces up to 10 years in prison.
Hudson in 2015 falsified a report of separation of active duty – called a DD-214 – on which he “represented that he was in the Navy and saw combat as a medic, suffering wounds and other trauma,” according to the release. He said he received two Purple Hearts over the course of his service, from 1967-1971.
But an investigation revealed several problems with the report, including a ranking that did not match his listed pay grade. The typeset of Hudson’s Social Security number didn’t match the rest of the document, according to the release.
“In the awards section, it stated that he received a Combat Medic Badge. However, this is an award which is only given for service in the United States Army,” the release said. “And the form stated Mr. Hudson received the Fleet Marine Force Medal with Marine Device. There is no such medal.”
The investigation found that Hudson had not served in the military, while also showing he held a variety of jobs in New York and Maine at the time he claimed to see combat in Vietnam.
Investigators also found Hudson was prosecuted for the same scheme in Connecticut in 2005, and entered the pretrial diversion program.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Karl Munson pilots a 26-foot boat while Petty Officer 2nd Class Gabriel Diaz keeps an eye on a boarding team who is inspecting a 79-foot shrimp boat in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of New Orleans, La., on April 27, 2005
Radio transmissions to the U.S. Coast Guard are usually calls for help from boaters, but one captain got on the radio recently just to say thanks to the men and women who are currently working without pay.
DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Saturday to receive the remains of four Americans killed in a suicide bombing in northern Syria.
Trump, locked in a battle with congressional Democrats that has led to a nearly month-long partial government shutdown, announced his trip via a pre-dawn tweet, saying he was going "to be with the families of 4 very special people who lost their lives in service to our Country!"
Former President George W. Bush is calling for an end to the partial government shutdown, which is about to hit the one-month mark and is currently the longest shutdown in US history.
In an appeal made on Instagram, the 43rd president called on "leaders on both sides to put politics aside, come together, and end this shutdown." The caption was posted with an image of him and former First Lady Laura Bush giving pizza to their Secret Service detail.