MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Maui man was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Tuesday for stealing money from the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs.
Cody Joslin, 32, pleaded guilty to receiving VA benefits that he didn't deserve after falsely claiming that he suffered from combat-related injuries and trauma.
Joslin applied for VA benefits falsely claiming that he had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and tinnitus as a result of combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. He fabricated stories about engaging in combat, and witnessing the deaths of his close friends.
According to court documents and other information, Joslin was in the U.S. Army for about nine months and never served in a combat zone or overseas.
He received over $48,000 in VA disability benefits.
"The VA provides valuable services to the men and women who serve this country, but like all government agencies, it is susceptible to abuse by dishonest people," said Kenji Price,United States Attorney for the District of Hawaii in a news release.
"Our office will continue to investigate and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law those who use deception to obtain vital resources that
should rightfully go to veterans who are truly in need."
Joslin also submitted fake certificates "proving" he had received certain military awards. He purchased the documents online from a veteran who was previously convicted for owning and selling counterfeit U.S. paperwork.
In addition to his 18-month prison term, Joslin is required to pay $48,595 in restitution to the VA.