Veteranclaims’s Blog

October 8, 2010

Former Marine Charged in Federal Court, Embezzling from VA

Full Article at: UPDATE: Hamilton indicted on federal charges

HOPE HODGE

“A man who gave a Vietnam remembrance speech to a group of veterans and Marine officials as a decorated Marine colonel has been indicted for false statements and fraud.

Michael Hamilton, 67, of Richlands, was indicted Thursday afternoon, according to court documents obtained by The Daily News, and charged with making false statements to federal authorities and embezzling more than $30,000 from the department of Veterans Affairs by masquerading as a decorated hero.

According to court documents, Hamilton is charged with stating during a Veterans Affairs Compensation and Pension medical exam that he had been in combat situations in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, “including firefights wherein he was shot, stabbed, and blown up, and witnessed atrocities such as the dismemberment and decapitation of his best friend.” He also falsely claimed that he rated two Navy Crosses, three Silver Stars, five Bronze Stars, and eight Purple Heart Awards for his actions in an application for VA compensation.

Between Oct. 11, 2007, and the present, Hamilton received more than $30,000 in disability payments from the VA for service-connected ailments related to his claims.

He is also charged with wearing the uniform dress blues and insignia of a Marine colonel and two Navy Crosses, four Silver Stars and eight Purple Hearts, all without authorization.

Hamilton was charged with wearing a colonel’s uniform and medals unauthorized after the Daily News reported that his military records showed he had left the Marines as a private first class, having never seen combat.

He was charged with altering an ID card and sentenced to fines and probation in 2009 after trying to represent himself as a three-star general, according to court records.

When The Daily News spoke with Hamilton twice in April, he claimed to have been involved in operations so secret they could not be included in his records. Nearly 300 men serving under him had been killed, he told The Daily News.”

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