Scammers of veterans’ benefits facing penalties

The Department of Justice today announced victories for federal prosecutors against two men who scammed the Veterans Affairs Department for benefits they didn’t deserve.

U.S. District Court Judge Thomas W. Phillips sentenced Charles C. Kaczmarczyk, 59, of Knoxville, Tenn., to 30 months in prison Wednesday for fraudulently obtaining payments from the VA and the Social Security Administration with counterfeit records for service and medals. 

In a separate case, David A. Bevilacqua, 65, of Myrtle Beach, S.C., pleaded guilty in federal court Dec. 3 to theft of government property for making false claims to receive medical treatment from the VA for more than four years, according to the Justice Department. 

Kaczmarczyk supported a false claim of combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by creating counterfeit U.S. Air Force records that showed he had received medals including two Purple Hearts and two Silver Stars. He also lied about participation in combat missions as a member of the Air Force Special Operations Group, the Justice Department said. 

In addition to his prison sentence, Kaczmarczyk must pay $458,000 in restitution. 

Bevilacqua faces up to 10 years of prison and $250,000 in fines for scheming to receive medical treatment from the VA between 2007 and 2011. According to the Justice Department, he claimed to have been honorably discharged when he’d actually been dishonorably discharged for going absent without leave.  He also claimed to have served with special forces groups and to have received numerous medals, including a Bronze Star Medal, two Purple Hearts, a Vietnam Service Medal and a Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, the Justice Department said. 

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Josh Hicks covers Maryland politics and government. He previously anchored the Post’s Federal Eye blog, focusing on federal accountability and workforce issues.

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Josh Hicks · December 17, 2012

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