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Indictment: Army Command Sergeant Major Claimed Purple Hearts, Bronze Star To Get $57K In Veterans Benefits

RIVERSIDE (CBS) — Prosecutors say an active-duty command sergeant major in the U.S. Army lied about his combat record and claimed to receive two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star for valor in order get disability, medical and educational benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

William John Roy, 57, of Winchester, was charged Wednesday by a federal grand jury  on seven felony counts of defrauding the VA and the Department of Defense. Roy will be summoned to appear next month in United States District Court for arraignment, the U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman Thom Mrozek said.

Prosecutors say Roy was awarded more than $27,000 in disability benefits based on his fraudulent claims. Roy also obtained more than $30,000 in educational benefits for his daughter based on his claims, according to the indictment.

Roy is accused of making false statements and submitting fake military documentation to the VA in 2007 in order to get disability, medical and educational benefits. According to the indictment, Roy claimed to have been injured twice while serving as a combat medic in Vietnam in 1974. Roy also allegedly claimed to have been awarded two Purple Hearts, plus a Bronze Star for valor.

An investigation found that Roy was actually in Germany in a non-combatant role during the time he claimed to be in Vietnam. Roy also submitted a Purple Heart Certificate purportedly signed by Richard Nixon – four months after the president resigned from office, according to the court documents.

In 2008, Roy also claimed to have been extensively injured in a March 2005 mortar and rocket attack on a forward operating base in Jalalabad in Afghanistan in a letter to the Army requesting a Purple Heart. Investigators found that Roy was not involved in any such attack.

Roy remains an active duty command sergeant major, the highest rank available to enlisted personnel in the Army.

If Roy is convicted on all the charges, he faces a statutory maximum sentence of 55 years.

Roy's current duty station was not immediately known.

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