Former soldier accused of lies
The ex-serviceman was indicted on fraud counts
over claims he fought and was wounded.
A former Army serviceman was charged Thursday with
concocting a fictitious military career -- claiming tours in Iraq
and Afghanistan during which he was wounded and saw fellow
soldiers killed -- to obtain $18,000 in veteran benefits.
Randall A. Moneymaker was indicted by a federal grand
jury in Roanoke on seven counts of fraud.
Not only did Moneymaker lie about his military
service, federal prosecutors say, but he also claimed to have
received medals and decorations that were never awarded to him.
"In light of the sacrifices our servicemen and
women are making overseas, it's important to prosecute those
individuals who claim to have done things that they haven't,"
Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig "Jake" Jacobsen said.
"Because it's a disservice to those who
One charge against Moneymaker was brought under the
Stolen Valor Act, a law passed by Congress last year to crack down
on a growing number of fake military heroes in the United States.
While previous law made it illegal to falsely claim a
Presidential Medal of Honor, the Stolen Valor Act broadened the
law to include other medals and decorations authorized by
The indictment does not say which honors Moneymaker
is charged with lying about; Jacobsen declined to comment in
detail about the case.
C.J. Covati, a Roanoke attorney who represents
Moneymaker, also declined to comment.
A former Roanoke resident who now lives in North
Carolina, Moneymaker, 43, is charged with making a number of false
statements to the Department of Veterans Affairs in Salem between
October 2005 and November 2006.
Moneymaker served about two years in the Army as a
private in the 1980s but was never sent overseas, authorities
But in paperwork he filed for veteran disability and
retirement payments, Moneymaker claimed to have served in the Army
from 1985 to 2002 and to have suffered injuries as a result of
"combat operations," the indictment states.
Moneymaker said he suffers post-traumatic stress
disorder from his experiences, which included being involved in
firefights and grenade attacks, witnessing "fellow soldiers
and civilians killed or wounded in combat," and being wounded
himself by a shell fragment -- all claims that are false, the
Moneymaker received $18,449.32 in disability payments
before the scam was discovered, according to the indictment.
If convicted on all charges in U.S. District Court in
Roanoke, Moneymaker would face a maximum sentence of 35½ years in
prison and a fine of $1.5 million.