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Navy vet lied about paralysis, crash with drunk driver in $1 million scheme, feds say

A judge's gavel. (Dreamstime/TNS)

A Navy veteran faked dozens of medical records claiming she had “grave health” issues, and lied about a drunk driver hitting her car while on active duty, as part of a scheme to steal over $1 million from the government, federal officials in Maryland say.

The woman also admitted to helping her then-husband and dad, both military veterans, to get more than a half million dollars in veteran disability benefits they weren’t entitled to, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland said in a March 11 news release.

Angela Marie Farr, age 36, of Leonardtown, pleaded guilty to organizing the conspiracy to steal at least $1,010,000 from both the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs and the Social Security Administration, the office said. She served in the Navy from 2005 until 2007 before she was “administratively discharged.”

McClatchy News has reached out to Farr’s attorneys for comment and was awaiting a response.

The documents Farr faked “stated that Farr, her husband, and her father were homebound and required full-time assistance for basic tasks such as eating, bathing, and dressing,” since they were purportedly wheelchair bound, according to officials and court documents obtained by McClatchy News.

They also claimed they had military “service-connected traumatic brain injury and seizures,” an indictment said.

However, “all three individuals lived ordinary, active lives,” according to the release.

Farr ran an online marketing business, her then-husband would regularly work out at a CrossFit gym and Farr’s dad supervised a logistics unit of 25 people while a civilian employee of the Navy, the release added.

The documents Farr filed for herself claimed she “suffered multiple seizures daily, required round-the-clock care for basic functions such as toileting and showering, and claimed that she also suffered from an aneurysm, heart attack, and leukemia,” according to officials.

The alleged scheme began in 2009, two years after Farr was discharged from the Navy, when she said “she suffered post-traumatic stress disorder after being sexually assaulted while on duty three years earlier,” according to her plea agreement. This is when she also “falsely claimed to VA that she was seriously injured in a traffic accident when she was struck by a drunk driver while driving on duty in 2006.”

Farr proceeded to forge over 70 pages, claiming they were from the Navy, that were “purportedly authored by criminal investigators, psychologists, and physical therapists,” the agreement said. As a result, the VA rated her as 70% disabled.

She continued to file more false medical records while seeking more money in 2015, court documents show.  Her mother is accused of falsely acting as her caregiver when VA representatives visited her home at the time, resulting in her disability rating increasing to 100%.

Farr also exaggerated her then-husband’s and her father’s existing medical conditions by submitting false claims to the VA, according to officials. Her then-husband, a former Army member, got $370,912 in VA benefits and her father got $168,074 that they weren’t entitled to.

In 2016, Farr applied for SSDI benefits claiming the same disabilities that she said she had when submitting the false medical records to the VA, the release said.

“In that application, Farr claimed that she was unable to work and was forced to medically retire, despite the fact that she was working for the Department of Defense at the time she applied.”

Farr and Pace were divorced in December 2017, the indictment said.

She’s been ordered to pay restitution for the money fraudulently obtained as part of the conspiracy, the attorney’s office said.

If convicted on all counts she pleaded guilty to, she could face a maximum 15 years in federal prison, prosecutors said. Her sentencing is scheduled for August 4.


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