Veteran Admits to Faking Disability for Over 20 Years, Collecting $660,000 in Benefits

Christopher Stultz, a veteran from New Hampshire, has admitted to perpetrating an elaborate scheme to fraudulently collect over $660,000 in benefits over the course of two decades. Stultz, who pleaded guilty to making false statements to the Department of Veterans Affairs, had claimed a 100% disability rating, citing an inability to use his feet after leaving the service.

Stultz’s deceit began in January 2003 when he first informed the VA about his alleged disability, which granted him a substantial rating and monthly compensation ranging from $3,800 to $4,200. To further exploit the system, he also obtained funds through the VA’s Automobile Adaptive Equipment program, using them to purchase specialized vehicles and adaptations for mobility-impaired veterans.

However, Stultz’s audacious scheme began to unravel when he was observed walking without the aid of a wheelchair or any ambulatory device on multiple occasions. In October 2021, he was spotted using his wheelchair at the VA Medical Center in Boston, only to later lift it into his car and walk normally at a shopping mall. This behavior was repeated in October 2022, with Stultz being recorded walking unassisted throughout the mall after leaving the VA facility in Manchester.

Investigators also gathered testimonies from individuals who had known Stultz since the early 2000s, all of whom attested to never witnessing him requiring a wheelchair or any walking assistance. Confronted by law enforcement officials, Stultz admitted to his deception, acknowledging that he could use both feet and was aware of wrongfully collecting additional benefits.

Stultz was formally charged with one count of making false statements in September 2023 and is scheduled for sentencing on May 6, 2024. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and may be ordered to repay the entirety of the fraudulently obtained funds.

This case highlights the Department of Veterans Affairs’ ongoing efforts to crack down on fraudulent claims. In a similar incident, Marine veteran Paul John “PJ” Herbert was recently indicted and arrested for stealing over $344,000 in military disability benefits. Herbert had submitted a false Purple Heart application, falsely representing himself as a decorated war hero injured in the line of service.

As the legal proceedings unfold, it remains a stark reminder of the importance of maintaining the integrity of the benefits system for deserving veterans. The Department of Veterans Affairs continues to work diligently to ensure that those who have genuinely served and sacrificed receive the support they rightfully deserve.


Author: CrimeDoor

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