PENSACOLA, Fla. — An 83-year-old Florida man has pleaded guilty to pretending to be a veteran so he could receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in benefits.
According to a statement from the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Florida, Richard Kohl claimed to serve with the Marines in the Korean war, forging government documents so he could collect $220,000 in benefits. He alleged he received a Purple Heart after being shot. He first filed for benefits in 1996, but the Department of Veterans Affairs denied it, saying it couldn’t find his medical records.
According to prosecutors, Kohl submitted a request for disability pension benefits nine years later and was accepted. They said he received more than $110,000 in pension benefits plus costly medical care.
He faces up to 10 years in prison. It’s unclear if Kohl has retained an attorney who could comment on the charges.