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U.S. Army Soldier Charged with Lying to Government Regarding Military Service and Military Awards, including Purple Hearts

June 6, 2012

RIVERSIDE, California – A federal grand jury today charged an active duty command sergeant major in the U.S. Army with seven felony counts of defrauding the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense by falsely claiming to have seen combat in Vietnam and Afghanistan, as well as lying about military honors he claimed to have been awarded.

William John Roy, a 57-year-old Winchester resident, was named in a seven-count indictment returned by the grand jury this afternoon. Roy will receive a summons directing him to appear next month in United States District Court for an arraignment.

The indictment accuses Roy of making false statements and submitting bogus military documentation to the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2007 as he sought disability, medical and educational benefits from the VA. In the documents, Roy falsely claimed that in 1974 he served as a combat medic in Vietnam in a special forces unit and was twice injured in combat. With false records that purported to detail his bravery during combat incidents in Vietnam, Roy further claimed he was awarded two Purple Hearts, as well as a Bronze Star for valor. An investigation revealed that during the period of his claimed Vietnam service, Roy was actually in Germany in a non-combatant role. According to court documents, Roy submitted a Purple Heart Certificate purportedly signed by Richard Nixon four months after the president resigned from office.

The indictment also alleges that Roy provided false information to the Department of Defense regarding his service in Afghanistan in March 2005. In 2008, he sent a letter to the Army requesting a Purple Heart for extensive injuries he claimed to have sustained from a mortar and rocket attack on a forward operating base in Jalalabad. The investigation in this case revealed that Roy in fact was not involved in any such attack.

As a result of his 2007 application and a previous application, Roy was awarded more than $27,000 in disability benefits. Roy also obtained more than $30,000 in educational benefits for his daughter as a result of his alleged fraud. 

Roy remains an active duty command sergeant major, which is the highest rank available to enlisted personnel in the Army.

The seven-count indictment returned by the grand jury today charges Roy with one count of presenting false writings to defraud the United States, three counts of making false statements to the government, and three counts of stealing government property. If convicted on all the charges in the indictment, he would face a statutory maximum sentence of 55 years.

An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in court.

The case was investigated by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General.

Release No. 12-075

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