Jury convicts Kansas veteran of defrauding VA for disability benefits
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (WIBW) - A federal jury convicted a Kansas veteran of wire fraud and theft of government funds in charges related to a scheme to defraud the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs out of disability benefits.
According to court documents, Bruce Hay, 53, of Greely, a U.S. Army veteran and former Osawatomie resident, fraudulently misrepresented and exaggerated the extent of symptoms related to a diagnosis to receive VA benefits he was not entitled to.
Hay claimed he had constant jerking movements, tremors, head-bobs, could only walk with the use of a walker, and could not engage in basic activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and eating. The VA found that Hay was completely disabled based on his statements.
Information collected through surveillance, photographs, and testimony from community members ultimately showed Hay’s claims of mobility limitations as false. Officials say Hay, without any assistance, engaged in residential construction, threw hay bales on the back of moving trucks, hunter deer, and drove regularly.
As a result of his disability claims, Hay received more than $450,000 in VA benefits. A jury found Hay guilty of six counts of wire fraud and 10 counts of theft of government funds.
Hay faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. Sentencing is scheduled for October 27, 2022.
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