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73-year-old NC veteran sentenced for receiving nearly $1 million in fraudulent benefits from the VA

A gavel cracks down. (Airman 1st Class Aspen Reid/U.S. Air Force)
January 09, 2021

A 73-year-old Fayetteville man who pleaded guilty to obtaining nearly $1 million in VA health care benefits was sentenced to probation and community service Tuesday, according to a news release.

Willie Dosher Cain was ordered to five years of probation and 250 hours of community service for defrauding the Department of Veterans Affairs, according the release from U.S. Attorney Matthew G.T. Martin. Cain is a veteran of the U.S. Army and the Fayetteville Police Department, Martin said.

Cain pleaded guilty on June 17 to one count of embezzlement. U.S District Judge Thomas D. Schroeder cited the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the defendant’s age and prior military service as factors in determining the sentence, according to the release.

Cain also was ordered to pay $903,668.08 in restitution and forfeited $155,041.30 in cash, a modified 2018 Toyota Sienna van and a mobility scooter. He also received a forfeiture money judgment in the amount of $150,000 and forfeited a Carolina Beach condominium in a related civil action.

The release said Cain represented to the VA that, as a result of shrapnel wounds sustained in Vietnam in 1965, he had suffered the loss of use of both legs, as well as loss of bowel and bladder control, that he was unable to perform daily activities such as dressing and bathing without assistance, and that he was dependent on a wheelchair or motorized scooter for mobility.

However, Cain in fact maintained an active lifestyle throughout this time, including working as a firearms and concealed carry instructor, enjoying beach activities, playing basketball, dancing, and attending social events, officials said in the release.

He also bought a Carolina Beach condominium on the third floor of a building that had no elevator, according to officials.

The investigation revealed that Cain received hundreds of thousands of dollars in fraudulent VA benefits in the form of direct payments for aid and attendance, modifications to his home and the purchase and adaptation of vehicles.

This case was investigated by the Veterans Affairs — Office of the Inspector General. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Frank J. Chut and Meredith Ruggle.

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