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New Hampshire man faked disability to defraud Veterans Affairs $600K+ in benefits

Boston Herald - 1/27/2024

A New Hampshire man pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to faking a disability to receive more than $600,000 in veteran’s benefits that he was not entitled to, prosecutors said in a statement this week.

Christopher Stultz, a 49-year-old from Antrim, New Hampshire, told the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that he could no longer use his feet, a false condition that led officials to rate him as completely disabled and increase his monthly benefits, U.S. Attorney Jane Young said.

But prosecutors said Stultz did not need a wheelchair or another ambulatory device to move around and was seen multiple times “walking normally.”

“Because the VA believed Stultz was unable to use his feet, he was also awarded funding through the VA’s Automobile Adaptive Equipment program to purchase special cars and vehicle adaptations designed to help mobility-impaired veterans,” Young’s office said.

Stultz is scheduled to be sentenced in May, Young’s office said.

Stultz went to the VA Medical Center in Jamaica Plain in October 2021, where he used a wheelchair inside but after leaving, stood up, lifted the wheelchair into his car, and drove to a shopping mall, according to prosecutors.

“There, Stultz walked normally through multiple stores,” Young’s office.

Stultz traveled to the VA Medical Center in Manchester, New Hampshire in October 2022 where he also used a wheelchair inside the facility.

“After leaving the VA facility, Stultz drove to the Mall of New Hampshire and was recorded walking normally through multiple stores.  In addition, multiple witnesses reported that they had never known Stultz to use a wheelchair or other ambulatory devices as far back as the early 2000s,” Young’s office said.

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