Are you a business owner who’s fallen on hard times? Having trouble getting those juicy government contracts? There may be a solution. Try enlisting a veteran, and you’ll see your bids skyrocket to the top of the list. It’s easy: Just hire a service-disabled vet to “run” daily operations — on paper only — and you’ll soon be able to beat legitimate veteran-owned businesses for big government contracts in no time.
A former Veterans Affairs employee has confessed he engineered a simple, if twisted, plan to pocket more than $66,000 in department funds that were earmarked for disabled veterans. The ex-worker, Russel M. Ware, 39, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, pled guilty Jan. 23 to charges of bribery and wire fraud, according to a recent Department of Justice statement.
Being the target of scammers is just one of the trade-offs that come with serving in uniform — from identity theft to unscrupulous off-base car salesmen pitching slick rides with 40% APR. Sham-proofing your life is a hard-learned lesson for many enlistees early on in their service.
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Destinee Sweeney
A group of Marines based in southern California are embroiled in a health insurance scam that cost the military’s medical provider, TRICARE, more than $67 million. The scheme, reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune on Aug. 18, involved Marines who were allegedly paid $100 to $300 a month to talk to doctors as part of a “telemedicine exam,” according to an affidavit obtained by the Union-Tribune.
Two people were sentenced recently for defrauding Marines, some of whom are stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, local news station WNCT 9 reported June 5. How’d they do it? They created fake identities on internet dating sites and lured the poor (and evidently lonely) devil dogs into virtual relationships.