PENSACOLA, FLA. – A U.S. Army veteran from Pace has admitted to defrauding the government of $680,000 in benefit payments and services to which he was not entitled.
Kevin Paul McMains, 43, of Pace, has pleaded guilty to theft of government money and providing false statements, said Jason R. Coody, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.
“By falsely claiming he suffered catastrophic service-related injuries, McMains selfishly defrauded the federal government but more significantly stole resources that were intended for the brave men and women who have valiantly served our country,” said Coody.
“With our law enforcement partners, we remain committed to investigating and prosecuting those who engage in such despicable conduct.”
Court documents introduced at the plea hearing established that McMains served approximately eight years in the United States Army before separating from service on April 27, 2009. On April 28, 2009, McMains received a 100% disability rating from the Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) for post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”).
From May 2009 to February 2023, McMains received money from the United States, namely benefits payments and services from the VA, the Social Security Administration (“SSA”), and the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”).
An investigation reportedly revealed that McMains provided false information to medical personnel during his examination at the VA clinic in Pensacola. McMains falsely stated he had been severely injured in an explosion while serving in Iraq, which he claimed resulted in paralysis and his confinement to a wheelchair since 2007.
In addition, McMains altered a VA form that was submitted to a mental health counselor, which gave the impression that McMains’ medical condition relating to PTSD was much more severe than it was. McMains also is said to have provided false information to the VA in documents and forms in support of his PTSD disability rating.
The VA relied on the statements, documents, and forms provided by McMains in determining his disability rating. As a result, McMains received a 100% disability rating from the VA for PTSD.
Based on his false statements and submission of fraudulent documents, McMains received $683,068.30 in benefit payments and services from the VA, SSA, and HHS, to which he was not entitled, said the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida.
Sentencing in this case is set for January 17, 2024, at 3 p.m., at the United States Courthouse in Pensacola before the Honorable United States District Judge M. Casey Rodgers.
McMains faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for the theft of government money charge and a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment for each of the false statement charges.
This case resulted from a joint investigation by the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General, the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General, and the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General. Assistant United States Attorney J. Ryan Love is prosecuting the case.