Pretending to be a vet is bad enough. This gets worse. WAY worse…
Smith pleaded guilty in February in Missouri to one count each of violating the False Claims Act and of student loan fraud.
He admitted that he assumed the identity of a Navy veteran from October 2012 through April 2014, along the way fraudulently obtaining a Veterans Affairs identification card and VA health care benefits.
(Identity theft is bad enough. But it gets even worse.)
Eric D. Smith, 63, of Independence, was sentenced by U.S. Chief District Judge Greg Kays to four years and three months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Smith to pay $234,461 in restitution, which includes payments to additional agencies that were victimized by Smith when he engaged in similar criminal conduct in Maryland, Georgia and Florida.
On Feb. 3, 2016, Smith pleaded guilty to one count of violating the False Claims Act and one count of student loan fraud. Smith admitted that he assumed the identity of another person, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, from October 2012 through April 2014. Smith fraudulently obtained a VA identification card and VA health care benefits utilizing this stolen identity.
Smith fraudulently received approximately $15,459 in VA health care treatment, $12,956 in Veterans Retraining Assistance Program educational benefits and $656 in travel benefits from the Kansas City VA Medical Center.
VA benefits stolen. Because THAT’S a program that has entirely enough funding to give veterans proper care, right? (Yes, that’s sarcasm.)
Some might suggest you give a few dozen Veterans time alone in a room with this guy, and they could just take it out of his hide.
Actually, a prison term might seem like the safer option for him.