A US Army veteran from Hawaii, who had been in service for only nine months, has been sentenced to 1.5 years in prison after falsely claiming he had seen combat in order to receive VA benefits, going so far as to submit false credentials and records.
Maui resident Cody Joslin was sentenced to 18 months in prison by United States District Court Judge J. Michael Seabright for theft of funds from the Department of Veterans Affairs, according to a statement from the US Attorney’s Office.
“The VA provides valuable services to the men and women who serve this country, but like all government agencies, it is susceptible to abuse by dishonest people,” said Kenji Price, United States Attorney for the District of Hawaii. “Our office will continue to investigate and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law those who use deception to obtain vital resources that should rightfully go to veterans who are truly in need.”
The 32-year-old Joslin had only served nine months in the US Army but, upon discharge, had the audacity to submit paperwork claiming that he suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and tinnitus as a result of multiple combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In order to back up his claims, the fraudulent combat virgin submitted fabricated stories about engaging in combat, witnessing the deaths of comrades and being injured by enemy fire. Supporting the wild stories was a stack of fake certifications of combat awards, purchased online.
In addition to swindling over $48,000 in benefits from the VA, Joslin also posted photos on online dating sites, where he can be seen wearing several awards, including the Combat Infantry Badge, the Special Forces Tab and the rank of Sergeant First Class.
“I was in the Army for 7 years,” he wrote on his Plenty of Fish profile, which claimed he was wanting to date but not looking for anything serious. “Went overseas, had a blast.”
On his Facebook profile, Joslin could also be seen wearing a shirt bearing the insignia of the United States Special Operations Command.
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