FL man who never served in military pleads guilty after scamming VA for $219,000

An 83-year-old Pensacola, Florida man this week pleaded guilty to federal charges of making fraudulent Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) claims to get veterans benefits he wasn’t entitled to.

At some point before July 1996, Richard Kohl created and signed a false form that stated he served in the Korean War in the United States Marine Corps, and was discharged in 1961.

Kohl never served a day in the military, the United States Attorney’s Office said.

Kohl received benefits that he wasn’t entitled to with the fraudulent documents between 2015 and 2018.

His scheme totaled more than $219,000 of unearned benefits, The Pensacola News Journal reported.

The VA’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office conducted the investigation, which resulted in a guilty plea from Kohl, Inspector General Special Agent in Charge Monty Stokes said.

“The VA benefits fraudulently received by Mr. Kohl were intended to provide financial and health care support for veterans who honorably served in the armed forces of the United States. These continued (investigative) efforts safeguard the integrity of VA programs and ensure that VA benefits are provided to only those who earn them,” Stokes said.

Kohl is scheduled for sentencing in September and faces a maximum of 10 years in prison.

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