CINCINNATI -- A man who falsely claimed to have served in the Marine Corps was able to receive more than $100,000 in medical and housing aid from the Cincinnati VA Hospital before being caught, according to charges filed against him by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Shawn Oliger, 43, filed an application for disability compensation with the VA in April 2015, the report said. He claimed he had been a Marine from 1990-93 -- a period of time during which, a later investigation found, he had been in prison in Arizona.
When the VA could not verify his service, it mailed several documents requesting verification. Although Oliger never completed any of these and his claim was closed, his unverified service was still recorded in VA databases.
When Oliger filed a second claim in November 2015, the Cincinnati VA granted it based on the previously recorded data. Oliger subsequently received a VA identification card, $124,335 in health care benefits -- including multiple hospitalizations -- and $5,786 in housing assistance.
According to the affidavit, Oliger confessed to his crime when visited by investigators.
"Oliger claimed he’s ‘crazy in the mind’ and thought up the idea to claim he’s a veteran," Special Agent Todd Springer wrote. “Oliger knew it was wrong to obtain VA benefits he was not entitled to receive, but he did it out of necessity.
Oliger faces federal charges for stealing public money from the Department of Veterans Affairs -- a charge that can carry a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both.