Veteran Pleads Guilty to Theft of Government Money and Providing False Statements
From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida
PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – Kevin Paul McMains, 43, of Pace, Florida, plead guilty to theft of government money and providing false statements. The plea was announced by 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 U.S. Attorney 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 revealed that McMains provided false information to medical personnel during his examination at the VA clinic in Pensacola, Florida. 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 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.
“The VA Office of Inspector General remains committed to ensuring that VA benefits are administered to deserving veterans based on legitimate military service,” said Special Agent in Charge Jason Root with the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General’s Northwest Field Office. “The VA OIG thanks the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and our law enforcement partners for their efforts in this joint investigation.”
“With fabricated documents that falsely reported his medical condition, Mr. McMains defrauded the government of more than $680,000, of which $357,847 was from the Social Security Administration (SSA). This admission of guilt results from an in-depth joint investigation by several Federal agencies; my office will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to pursue those who commit fraud against SSA,” said Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General for SSA. “I thank the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General and Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General their invaluable work in this investigation and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for holding this individual accountable for his criminal actions.”
“Individuals who take advantage of federal healthcare benefits to which they are not entitled divert valuable resources away from their intended recipients,” said Steven Ryan, Special Agent in Charge at the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG). “HHS-OIG is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to ensure that those alleged to be defrauding federal health care programs are thoroughly investigated.”
Sentencing in this case is set for January 17, 2024, at 3:00 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 ten years’ imprisonment 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, Social Security Administration-Office of Inspector General, and Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney J. Ryan Love.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.