Vet who lied about paralysis pleads guilty to nearly $700K in fraud

by Tommy Grant

A former Army soldier who lied about needing a wheelchair for a service- injury faces prison after receiving nearly $700,000 in disability benefits in connection to his misrepresentation of a medical condition to post-traumatic stress disorder.

Kevin Paul McMains, 43, of Pace, Florida, pleaded guilty to theft of government money and providing false statements, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida announced in a release Monday.

Sentencing for the case is currently set for January 17, 2024, in Pensacola, Florida. McMains faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for the theft of government money charge and a max penalty of five years in prison for each of the false statement charges, the statement said.

“By falsely claiming he suffered catastrophic service- injuries, McMains selfishly defrauded the federal government, but more significantly stole resources that were intended for the brave men and women who have valiantly served our country,” U.S. Attorney Jason R. Coody said in the release.

McMains separated from the Army in 2009 after serving approximately eight years, according to the release. He subsequently received a 100% disability rating from the Department of Veterans Affairs for post-traumatic stress disorder.

An investigation, however, found that the former soldier provided false statements and fraudulent documents between May 2009 and February 2023 to receive $683,068.30 in benefit payments and services from the VA, the Social Security Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Additionally, McMains falsely claimed at a VA clinic that a service- injury in Iraq resulted in paralysis and confinement to a wheelchair, according to the release.

Military Times reached out to the federal public defender listed as McMains’ representation but did not immediately hear back.

Jonathan is a staff writer and editor of the Early Bird Brief newsletter for Military Times. Follow him on Twitter @lehrfeld_media

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