Man exaggerated impairment, scammed government of $1.5M

AP News
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Posted: Jan 26, 2016 12:15 PM

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Prosecutors say a Navy veteran scammed federal agencies out of more than $1.5 million by exaggerating his multiple sclerosis, claiming he needed a wheelchair to get around when he was actually playing golf and baseball.

A jury found Dennis Paulsen guilty Monday. U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles says it's one of the largest fraudulent disability compensation claims for a single person in the history of the Department of Veterans Affairs. An attorney for Paulsen did not immediately return a message.

The 45-year-old Paulsen was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and discharged from the Navy in the early 1990s. Unsatisfied with his monthly benefit from the VA, prosecutors say Paulsen began claiming more severe disabilities, telling government officials that he couldn't use his hands or feet, but he was actually playing sports.