GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Lawton man convicted for lying to receive veterans benefits has been sentenced to five years behind bars.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office — Western District of Michigan says 53-year-old Joseph Scott Gray lied to the Department of Veterans Affairs regarding an inability to walk or stand. As a result, he received $250,000 in benefits he was not entitled to.
We’re told Gray received an examination at the Battle Creek VA Medical Center in 2017, during which he told staff members it had been a decade since he last walked. Gray was seen walking minutes later at a nearby restaurant, according to federal attorneys.
Gray reportedly peddled false claims for a span of 15 years.
The Department of Justice says Gray was later found guilty for conspiring to defraud the government, issuing false statements with the VA, stealing government money and giving false claims in exchange for benefits.
“Our nation has an obligation to care for our veterans and we must ensure they receive the medical care and disability benefits they need and deserve. Those who lie and fraudulently obtain VA benefits they are not entitled to receive not only steal from American taxpayers but from the veterans who served in defense of our country,” says U.S. Attorney Mark Totten. “My office will fight to protect VA benefits for those in genuine need of treatment and support.”
Gray was previously sentenced to 27 months in 2011 for reportedly selling guns without a license.