KANSAS CITY, Kan. (KCTV) – A Kansas veteran who schemed to defraud the US Department of Veterans Affairs out of disability benefits and was subsequently charged has been found guilty by a federal jury.
According to the US Department of Justice, 53-year-old Bruce Hay of was found guilty of six counts of wire fraud and 10 counts of theft of government funds. Hay is a US Army Veteran, is from Greeley, and is a former resident of Osawatomie.
According to court documents and evidence, Hay fraudulently misrepresented and exaggerated the extent of a purported conversion disorder diagnosis. He did so in an effort to get VA disability benefits that he was not entitled to.
Due to said misrepresentations, Hay fraudulently received more than $450,000 in VA benefits.
Specifically, the DOJ says that Hay claimed to have constant jerking movements, tremors, and head bobs. He claimed he could only walk with a walker and couldn’t engage in basic activities for daily living (eg bathing, using the toilet, dressing, eating).
During VA examinations, he faked and exaggerated physical symptoms. He displayed a significant limp and muscle spasms, as well as the jerking movements and head bobbing. Right before and after the examinations, he’d use 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, it was found that Hay’s claims of having limited mobility were false thanks to surveillance, video footage, photos, testimony from those in the community, and other evidence.
The DOJ says that Hay hauled more than 1 million pounds of scrap metal, threw hay bales on 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 penalty of 20 years in federal prison.
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