Criminal Justice News

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Knoxville Man Pleads Guilty to Defrauding U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Social Security Administration Based on False Claim of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

KNOXVILLE—Charles Kaczmarczyk, 58, of Knoxville, Tennessee, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court to four charges resulting from a scheme to defraud the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Social Security Administration of approximately $457,986 in disability payments based on a false claim of posttraumatic stress disorder. Sentencing has been set for December 12, 2012, before U.S. District Court Judge Thomas W. Phillips. Kaczmarczyk faces a maximum term of 10 years in prison, along with forfeiture and restitution. He was ordered to remain in custody pending his sentencing hearing.

As set forth in the plea agreement, Kaczmarczyk received disability payments from the VA and Social Security Administration based on a claim of posttraumatic stress disorder originating from his participation in special operations combat missions both during and after the Vietnam War. According to the plea agreement, Kaczmarczyk did not actually participate in those special operations combat missions. He fabricated the information so that he could receive disability payments from the VA and Social Security Administration. The plea agreement states that Kaczmarczyk supported his fraudulent activity by manufacturing counterfeit U.S. Air Force records showing that he had earned numerous combat medals, including two Purple Hearts and two Silver Stars.

The investigation was a joint effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Veterans Affairs-Office of Inspector General, Social Security Administration-Office of Inspector General, and the U.S. Air Force.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Zachary Bolitho represented the United States.

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