Man guilty of defrauding Dept. of Veteran Affairs Disability Compensation Program

Mack Cole Jr., 54, faces 50 years in federal prison

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SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio man is facing federal prison time after a jury found him guilty Wednesday afternoon of scheming to defraud the Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Compensation Program.

The Department of Justice said Mack Cole Jr., 54, injured his lower back in a stateside training accident in 2004 prior to being deployed with the Kansas Army National Guard to Kosovo.

Cole was granted military retirement and later deemed eligible for monthly benefits as a retired disabled veteran, the DOJ said, but misrepresented the severity of his injuries in order to collect a higher level of benefits, adaptations to his residence and extensive durable medical equipment.

Officials said that special agents of the department conducted video surveillance of Cole because of his claim that he was unable to walk. However, over the course of several months, agents recorded video of Cole mowing his lawn, and walking around his driveway and lawn without assistance, demonstrating that he had the ability to walk.

The jury Wednesday convicted Cole on four counts of health care fraud and two counts of making false statements in a matter involving a health care benefit program.

Cole's sentencing hearing is scheduled for Sept. 21. He faces up to 50 years in prison.

 

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