Charleston man lied about military service, received $200K in VA health care benefits
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) —
A Charleston man pretended to be a military war hero. Now, he's been sentenced to six months behind bars for defrauding the VA.
Prosecutors say this wasn't the first time for 70-year-old Keith Hudson, who received almost $200,000 dollars in health care benefits from the VA in Charleston.
During that time, prosecutors say Hudson lied about serving in the Navy and seeing combat in Vietnam.
They say he forged a number of government documents in his fraudulent scheme, even making up the awarding of a medal.
That story is backed up by a letter submitted to the court by one of Hudson's neighbor, a Navy veteran, who says Hudson claimed he was awarded two purple hearts.
At one point, the letter says, Hudson showed his neighbor his bullet scars. However, the government says Hudson never served in the military.
This was Hudson's second attempt at swindling the VA. He was prosecuted for the same scheme ten years ago in Connecticut, but avoided any jail time in that case.
Hudson's lawyer says his client was already sent for a psychiatric evaluation lasting three months, and says that time will count toward his sentence.
Hudson will stay under house arrest for an additional six months.
The US Attorney's Office says VA fraud is on the rise. If you suspect fraud, the VA Office of Inspector General has a hotline at 1-800-488-8244.