NAVY VETERAN SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR MAIL FRAUD IN CONNECTION WITH FALSE CLAIM OF PTSD
No Evidence to Back up Claims of Traumatic Experiences
LARRY LEWIS PORTER, 51, of Seattle, Washington was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 37 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release for Mail Fraud in connection with a scheme to fraudulently obtain disability benefits from the Veterans Administration. U.S. District Judge James L. Robart also ordered PORTER to pay $178,911 in restitution to the Veterans Administration and the Social Security Administration.
According to the indictment and plea agreement in the case, PORTER submitted information to the Veterans Administration in 1999 claiming he suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) because of experiences suffered in the Navy, which experiences were later determined to be fabricated by PORTER. PORTER served in the Navy for fifteen months, from September 1974 to December 1975. PORTER claimed that during basic training he was thrown into water 18 feet deep and needed to be resuscitated. Additionally, PORTER claimed that during 1975 he witnessed a civilian worker fall from the side of a ship in the Alameda Shipyard and drown. Finally, Porter claimed to witness the murder of a fellow sailor on the Golden Gate Bridge in April 1975. PORTER claimed that all of these experiences caused him to suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder entitling him to compensation and disability benefits from the Navy. In his plea agreement, PORTER admitted these claims were fraudulent. Based on these fraudulent representations, the VA paid PORTER $134,000 in benefits. Additionally the Social Security Administration paid him $40,000 to which he was not entitled.
“The mission of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is "to care for him who has borne the battle''. Porter didn’t bear any burden of battle, but fraudulently took advantage of programs for deserving soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines,” said Douglas Carver, Special Agent in Charge, VA Office of Inspector General. “False claims for any VA benefit, to include for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), will not be tolerated. The faithful service of those who have served our country with dedication and honor, should not be diminished by such criminal activity,” Carver said.
The case was investigated by the Veterans Administration Office of Inspector General (VA-OIG) and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ronald Friedman.
For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.