Myrtle Beach Man Pleads Guilty to Theft of V.A. Benefits
Contact Person: Beth Drake (803) 929-3000
Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that David A. Bevilacqua, age 65, of Myrtle Beach, SC, has entered a guilty plea in federal court in Florence, to theft of government property, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641. United States District Judge R. Bryan Harwell of Florence accepted the plea and will impose sentence after he has reviewed the presentence report which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.
Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that Bevilacqua applied for medical benefits with the Department of Veterans Affairs, falsely claiming to have been honorably discharged when he’d actually received a dishonorable discharge for going absent without leave (AWOL). When claiming benefits, Bevilacqua falsely claimed to have received numerous medals, including a Bronze Star, two Purple Hearts, a Vietnam Service Medal, and a Vietnam Cross of Gallantry. He also claimed to have been in Force Recon and Special Forces in order to obtain increased benefits. As a result of the false claims, Bevilacqua received medical treatment from the VA from June 2007 to October 2011.
Mr. Nettles stated the maximum penalty Bevilacqua can receive is a fine of $250,000.00 and/or imprisonment for 10 years, plus a special assessment of $100.00.
The case was investigated by agents of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Assistant United States Attorney William E. Day, II of the Florence office handled the case.