Prosecutors – NBC 7 San Diego
A Spring Valley US Marine Corps veteran who falsely claimed he was disabled and defrauded the Department of Veterans Affairs over $ 183,000 was sentenced to eight months in custody on Monday.
Anthony Medrano, 42, has submitted fraudulent claims to the Veterans Administration over the course of several years, in an attempt to obtain compassionate care benefits for his wife, according to the US attorney’s office.
Medrano alleged that he needed help with daily activities, saying he couldn’t stand for more than 10 minutes at a time and needed help with bathing.
In fact, prosecutors claim that Medrano was able-bodied, participated in fitness challenges, and coached youth sports.
The US Attorney’s Office said Medrano learned to cheat the system through his work as a veteran services representative with the Virginia Veterans Benefits Administration, which authorizes payments to disabled veterans in need of ” substantial care “and financial assistance to pay for their care.
In his claims, Medrano said he had been unemployed since 2012, although prosecutors allege he was employed by the VA from 2013 until February 2021. He also claimed he could not lift more than 20 pounds, but according to the prosecution‘s sentencing memorandum, Medrano posted videos of him on Facebook doing push-ups with a 25-pound weight on his back.
“This defendant has used his position to play with the system to the detriment of those with legitimate claims and taxpayers in general,” Interim US Attorney Randy Grossman said.
“It is not only scandalous when an unworthy person claims a disability. It is also a crime. And unfortunately for this defendant, he will go to jail.”
Earlier this year, in federal court in San Diego, Medrano pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government property.
Medrano’s wife has also been charged with theft of government property, pleaded guilty and entered into a deferred prosecution agreement, court records show.