Husband and Wife Plead Guilty to Defrauding SSA

Wednesday, September 19, 2012
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The wife of an Air Force veteran who lied about being a war hero confessed her guilt Tuesday to helping him rip off the government of bogus benefits and faking her own back injuries.

Martha Ann Kaczmarczyk, 62, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to charges of conspiring to defraud the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Social Security Administration of more than $100,000 in benefits over a six-year period, stealing public money and Social Security fraud.

Her husband, Charles Chester Kaczmarczyk, 58, last month pleaded guilty to Social Security fraud, conspiracy to steal public money and two counts of stealing public money. Federal prosecutors said the Air Force veteran, who barely left U.S. shores and never saw a day of combat, swindled the government out of nearly half a million dollars in disability benefits with his lies.

Charles Kaczmarczyk, who claims to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, wove tales of his exploits in the Vietnam War, of helping to evacuate the U.S. embassy during the fall of Saigon, of rescuing merchant ships from Cambodia's Khmer Rouge and of watching the secret mission to rescue victims of the Iran hostage crisis fall apart in 1980.

Among the audiences who fell prey to his faked stories was a group of University of Tennessee students in 2008.

He also faked documents for various medals, including the Purple Heart and the Silver Star, and filed for veteran's and Social Security benefits to the tune of $457,986, Assistant U.S. Attorney Zachary Bolitho has said.

His wife admitted via a plea agreement that she crafted documents verifying her husband's faux inability to adjust to society so he could draw benefits. But she also faked her own injuries, claiming she was unable to function because of a debilitating back injury.

Her husband faces sentencing before U.S. District Judge Thomas Phillips in December, while she is set to find out her fate in January, court records show.