January 22, 2106
The case is unusual in that such a large amount of alleged fraud – a combined $1.5 million in VA and Social Security benefits, mostly from the VA – by one person is seldom-rarely brought to trial or even investigated by the government.
|Dennis Paulsen leaving court earlier|
this week. John Monk The State
A federal jury on Friday found a Blythewood man guilty of stealing $1.5 million from the Veterans Administration and Social Security by falsely claiming for years that he suffered extreme impairments from multiple sclerosis.
While the man, Dennis Paulsen, 45, did in fact have multiple sclerosis, government prosecutors presented evidence during the six-day trial that Paulsen had for years led an active life that enabled him to claim some $9,400 a month in tax-free benefits instead of a far lesser amount.
The yearly tax-free income of some $112,000 from the VA and Social Security enabled Paulsen to live a nice life – unlike most people, Paulsen didn’t have a regular job – at his two-story home in Blythewood, which he shared for years with his now ex-wife, Kristine, and two sons.
Evidence presented during the trial showed that Paulsen had for years led a highly active life, playing multiple sports at a high level and even running in the Marine Corps Mud Run in 2008. On the last leg of that mud run, he picked up a stretcher with a person on it and lugged it to the finish line, evidence showed.
Key pieces of evidence were photos and writings from an Internet blog kept by Paulsen’s former wife, Kristine Paulsen, from about 2006-2011. During that time, Dennis Paulsen was receiving his major benefits.read more here