The Department of Justice revealed this week that the Iraq War vet Darryl White defrauded the U.S. government and Washington state of $750,000. The man received the money as a Purple Heart recipient after he had faked injuries.
The new figure is three times larger than what prosecution had revealed in 2014 when the man appeared in court. The Former Idaho National Guardsman was present at a hearing in the U.S. District Court in Tacoma this week.
Nevertheless, the judges wanted more testimony on the man’s mental health before issuing a decision. If Wright is guilty, he risks five years behind bars.
According to court documents, the vet forged documents from genuine wounded-in-action soldiers to get the Purple heart. His lies also brought him a Combat Action Badge, forgiveness of $40,000 in student debt, and other benefits.
Reportedly, the man lied about being severely disabled. He claimed that his attention span was no larger than 10 seconds. He also said that he needed a caregiver. But in his home city, he remained an active member of the community.
Meanwhile, he served as coach of a high school basketball team and a full-time civil servant in Seattle. Federal prosecutors noted that the man created an “entire myth” around the Purple Heart to get all available benefits for wounded vets.
Additionally, he used every new benefit as evidence in future applications for other undeserved benefits. He also pitted the Commerce Department against a fellow workmate who had uncovered one of his frauds.
The vet pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud, but his lawyers have kept filings under a seal ever since. The defense attorneys argued that the documents contained sensitive personal information.
Wright’s lawyers still claim that their client suffers from PTSD from the Iraq War even though his account of a rocket attack was filled with exaggeration. The defense is currently seeking a sentence of one year since the vet legally raked nearly all the benefits.
According to Wright, the said rocket attack has violently thrown and knocked him unconscious, which won him a Purple Heart. But a few years earlier, he and the soldiers in his unit had reported no causalities.
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