PORT ANGELES MAN SENTENCED FOR LYING ABOUT MILITARY SERVICE AND MEDALS TO GET BENEFITS
Claimed to be Decorated Korean War Veteran and Fraudulently Obtained Medical Benefits
ROY J. SCOTT, 71, of Port Angeles, Washington, was sentenced this morning in U.S. District Court in Seattle to two years of probation, four months of home confinement, 100 hours of community service and a $1,000 fine for Use of an Altered Military Discharge Certificate to obtain VA Compensation and Medical Benefits, and Unlawful Wearing of United States Military Medals and Decorations. SCOTT was charged as part of “Operation Stolen Valor” an investigation by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General into those fraudulently claiming military service. SCOTT pleaded guilty August 31, 2007. At sentencing Magistrate Judge Mary Alice Theiler told SCOTT, “This is conduct that mattered... the monetary loss, but also it stole valor from those who put themselves in harms way defending this country.”
According to the plea agreement, in August 1999, SCOTT used a falsified military discharge form to get Veterans Benefits. The falsified form claimed that SCOTT had served in the Marine Corps in Korea, and that he was wounded in combat in Korea. The form also claimed that SCOTT had been awarded the Korea Defense Medal, Korea Star Medal, and a Purple Heart (due to alleged gun shot wounds sustained during combat in Korea). SCOTT also claimed to be honorably discharged. In fact, SCOTT never earned those medals, never served in Korea or any foreign country and was Court-Martialed. SCOTT did not receive an honorable discharge and was not entitled to benefits. Between 2000 and 2007, SCOTT received $21, 960 in VA medical benefits that he did not deserve.
Additionally, in 2006, SCOTT appeared at public events in Port Angeles, wearing the uniform of a Marine Corps Major and medals and ribbons indicating he had been awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Combat Action Ribbon, and other decorations for military service in Korea. The Bronze Star is awarded to soldiers deemed to have made an extraordinary contribution to the United States national defense. The Combat Action Ribbon is awarded to soldiers who participated in bona fide combat with opposing forces. The Purple Heart is awarded to soldiers who achieved valor and were wounded in combat. In fact, SCOTT had never earned or been awarded those medals. Members of the community alerted law enforcement with suspicions about the false claims.
As part of his plea agreement, SCOTT has paid restitution to the United States of $21,960.
At sentencing SCOTT held back tears as he told Magistrate Judge Theiler he was “very sorry for all of this.”
In his sentencing memo, Assistant United States Attorney Ron Friedman noted that the fraud in this case is more than just a financial issue. “By his conduct, Mr. Scott was stealing valor he never earned, and perpetrating a fraud. And it is a fraud which does direct insult to those who truly served and earned the above-described decorations, and are authorized by law to wear them and their uniform.”
The case was investigated by U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General and the FBI, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ronald J. Friedman.
For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.