Man Going to Prison After False Claim of Military Service

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3D rendering of gavel, law scales and books on a wooden table

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. — A western Illinois man who falsely claimed that he fought in Vietnam to receive disability benefits has been sentenced to eight years in federal prison.

In a news release, the U.S. Attorney's office in Rock Island says a federal judge on Wednesday also ordered 68-year-old William R. Jones of Geneseo to pay a fine of $40,000 and $71,000 in restitution.

The release says Jones joined the Air National Guard in 1971 but when he retired from service as a lieutenant colonel in 2002 he had never seen combat or served in Vietnam.

The release says in 2013 he received $71,000 for combat-related disability from the Department of Veterans Affairs after he falsely claimed that being shot down and wounded in Vietnam had left him suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

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