Former Marine Pleads Guilty to Wrongful Receipt of Benefits Based on Falsified Military Records
BOSTON – A Wakefield veteran pleaded guilty today to stealing $174,000 in benefits paid to him based upon falsified Vietnam War service records.
Albert L. Seely, 67, pleaded guilty today before Senior U.S. District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel. Seely admitted to theft of government funds from October 1, 1999 through July 1, 2014. Sentencing is scheduled for March 18, 2015.
Seely, a former U.S. Marine, was deployed to Vietnam and served there from 1966 to 1967. In December 1970, Seely filed his discharge papers with the Veterans Benefit Administration (VBA) and misrepresented the dates and places of his deployment in Vietnam. He also falsely listed numerous decorations, including two Purple Hearts, a Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, a Bronze Star, and a Silver Star. In March 1999, Seely applied for and received VBA disability payments based upon his false claims of combat and valor. He ultimately fraudulently obtained $174,656 in government benefits. In February 2014, the VBA terminated his benefits after his fraud was revealed.
The charging statute provides for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of $250,000, and restitution. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, and Jeffrey G. Hughes, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General, Northeast Field Office, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth G. Shine of Ortiz’s Major Crime Unit.