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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Ohio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 18, 2017

Wisconsin man sentenced to more than four years in prison for falsely claiming he was a Navy SEAL wounded in Vietnam to get benefits

A Wisconsin man was sentenced to more than four years in prison for crimes related to his false claims that he was a Navy SEAL wounded four times in Vietnam, said David A. Sierleja, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and Gavin McClaren, Resident Agent in Charge of the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General’s Cleveland office.

Kenneth E. Jozwiak, 68, of Kenosha, Wisconsin, previously pleaded guilty to unlawfully exhibiting a military discharge certificate, theft of government money, making false statements to federal agents, and attempting to obstruct an official proceeding.

“This defendant’s lies about his service are an affront to those who saw combat and those wounded fighting on behalf of our nation,” Sierleja said. “This defendant did neither, and falsely inflated his service record in an effort to get additional benefits.”

“Falsifying service records to defraud taxpayers and plagiarize other veterans valorous service will not be tolerated,” McClaren said.

 

Jozwiak in 2014, exhibited a DD-214 (military discharge certificate) that claimed, in part, that Jozwiak was a highly decorated Vietnam War veteran, that he was a four-time recipient of the Purple Heart, and that he was a Navy SEAL -- all entries Jozwiak knew were totally false, according to court documents.

Additionally, Jozwiak defrauded the Department of Veterans Affairs of $2,289 through veteran’s entitlements he received between August and December 2014. In January 2015, Jozwiak made several false statements to federal agents about his fraudulent activities and his military service, and that he attempted to obstruct an official proceeding by tampering with a material witness, according to court documents.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David M. Toepfer following an investigation by the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General—Criminal Investigative Division.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Mike Tobin 216.622.3651 michael.tobin@usdoj.gov
Updated May 18, 2017