Army vet faked needing a wheelchair for 20 years, claimed $660K

Army vet faked needing a wheelchair for 20 years, claimed $660K

A 49-year-old Army veteran pleaded guilty on Thursday to making false statements regarding his need for a wheelchair, a deception which allowed him to collect over $660,000 in benefits over the course of two decades.

Christopher Stultz, of Antrim, N.H., was rated 100% disabled by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in 2003, when he claimed he lost the use of his feet. He was subsequently awarded increased monthly benefits and given additional funds to buy and adapt specialized cars for mobility-impaired individuals, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In a Jan. 4 plea agreement, Stultz admitted to improperly receiving a total of $662,871.77 in Veteran Affairs (VA) benefits from January 2003 to December 2022.

Several people who have known Stultz since the early 2000s said they never knew him to need any mobility-assisting device, while prosecutors claimed he was also “surveilled on multiple occasions” walking normally.

In 2021, he was observed using a wheelchair inside a VA medical center in Boston, but allegedly got up and lifted the wheelchair into his car in the parking lot afterwards, prosecutors said. He then proceeded to drive to a mall and is accused of walking around multiple stores on his own two feet.

He allegedly pulled a similar stunt in 2022 at a Manchester VA medical center.

Stultz later admitted to police “that he could use both of his feet and that he knew it was wrong for him to collect extra benefits,” according to the plea agreement. “He also admitted that he did not need the VA-funded vehicles with the special adaptations and that he had sold those vehicles.”

Stultz now faces a maximum of five years in prison, and is scheduled for sentencing on May 6.

With News Wire Services

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