SC man lied about military service, received nearly $200K from VA, officials say

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A South Carolina man pleaded guilty in federal court for defrauding the VA by falsely claiming to be a veteran of combat in Vietnam.

Keith R. Hudson, 70, of Charleston received $197,237 in benefits from the Veterans Affairs in Charleston, after saying he was in the Navy and saw combat as a medic.

Hudson said he suffered wounds and other trauma, received two purple hearts, and claimed he served from Aug. 1, 1967 through Oct. 31, 1967, according to First Assistant U.S. Attorney Lance Crick. 

An investigation showed that in the awards section, it stated that he received a Combat Medic Badge.  

However, this is an award which is only given for service in the U.S. Army, the report states.

Officials added, that it did not list the proper citation for a Purple Heart either. The form also states that Hudson received the Fleet Marine Force Medal with Marine Device, there is no such medal, Crick stated.

Hudson never was in the military, according to the report.  The investigation conclusively showed that there were no records in the National Personnel Records Center in St Louis, Missouri for him from any branch of service. 

The investigation also showed that he had previously been prosecuted for the same scheme using the same form in 2005 in Connecticut, where he had been placed in a pretrial diversionary program, Crick said.

Hudson faces up to 10 years in prison. 

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