KANSAS CITY, Kan. (KCTV) – A Kansas veteran who conspired to defraud the US Department of Veterans Affairs over disability benefits and was later charged has been found guilty by a federal jury.
According to the US Department of Justice, 53-year-old Bruce Hay was convicted of six counts of wire fraud and 10 counts of theft of public funds. Hay is a U.S. Army veteran, a native of Greeley, and a former resident of Osawatomie.
According to court documents and evidence, Hay fraudulently misrepresented and exaggerated the extent of an alleged conversion disorder diagnosis. He did this in order to get VA disability benefits to which he was not entitled.
As a result of these misrepresentations, Hay fraudulently received over $450,000 in VA benefits.
Specifically, the DOJ says Hay claimed to have constant jerking, shaking, and head-butting. He claimed that he could only walk with a walker and could not perform basic activities of daily living (eg, bathing, using the toilet, dressing, eating).
During VA exams, he faked and exaggerated physical symptoms. He exhibited severe limping and muscle spasms, as well as jerking and head jerking. Right before and after exams, he used a walker that he didn’t normally use outside of VA facilities.
As such, based on how he presented himself, the VA found that Hay was completely disabled.
However, Hay’s claims that his mobility was limited were found to be false through surveillance, video footage, photos, testimony from community members and other evidence.
The DOJ says Hay hauled more than a million pounds of scrap metal, threw bales of hay in the back of moving trucks, engaged in residential construction, hunted deer and regularly drove without assistance.
Hay will be sentenced in October. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.
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