North West Florida Daily News
By staff reports
Posted Jul 11, 2018
Additionally, Kohl received health care treatment and benefits totaling more than $45,000, and he also was able to stay in a VA vision rehabilitation facility at a cost of more than $63,000, according to court records.
PENSACOLA — An elderly Pensacola man who fraudulently claimed to have served with the Marines in the Korean War has pleaded guilty to theft of government funds by filing false benefit claims with the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Between February 2005 and February 2018, 83-year-old Richard E. Kohl received VA benefit payments and services totaling nearly $220,000, according to a news release from the office of Christopher P. Canova, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.
Documents introduced at the time of the guilty plea indicated that at some point prior to July 3, 1996, Kohl created and signed a fictitious Form DD-214, a certificate of release or discharge from military service. The faked DD-214 claimed that Kohl served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean War and was discharged on Dec. 20, 1961.
Kohl never served in any branch of the U.S. military, but used the falsified Form DD-214 as proof of military service to obtain veterans’ benefits he was not entitled to receive. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for Sept. 19.
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