CLARKSBURG, W. Va. – A Bridgeport man has been charged with falsifying documents in order to enhance his Veterans Administration disability benefits, as well as fraudulently obtaining controlled substances.

United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II announced that Thomas Cueto, 65, was indicted on one count of theft of government funds and nine counts of obtaining controlled substances by fraud.

Cueto, who served in the U.S. Army, including time spent in Vietnam, was awarded disability benefits in 1999 for service-connected post-traumatic stress disorder.

Since 1999, Cueto has collected more than $480,000 in VA benefits.

The Indictment returned Tuesday alleges Cueto falsely claimed on his Report of Discharge from the Armed Forces of the United States to have earned the following awards: a Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star with V-Device, Purple Heart and Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.

It’s also alleged that Cueto submitted a counterfeit Purple Heart certificate and other misleading documents to show he was injured in combat.

Cueto is also alleged to have misled VA medical personnel in order to obtain Methadone HCL and Hydrocodone, both of which are Schedule II controlled substances. He was allegedly receiving narcotics from private medical providers, but advised VA medical personnel he had not previously received the drugs from any other source, between 2010 and 2012.

The case will be prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brandon S. Flower and Andrew R. Cogar, and is being investigated by the VA Office of Inspector General.

Cueto faces up to 10 years in prison on the theft of government funds charge and up to 4 years on each of the controlled substance violations, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office is seeking a money judgment against Cueto in the amount of $480,000.

bubble graphic

9

bubble graphic

Comments

  • rick

    northfork ..what are you talking about....the President in 2013 signed the law making it a Federal crime to commit fraud, etc on the basis of false military history. The Stolen Valor Act of 2013

    • northforkfisher

      President Obama got rid of the stole valor law. President Bush signed it into law and around 2008 or 9 Obama got rid of the law.

  • northforkfisher

    It a shame people does this in the name of Veterans. To lie about a purple heart is totally disrespect to the brave men and women who were wounded.
    To bad this administration got rid of the pretend military law that President Bush had in place. He would had a fine of up to $200,000, plus repayment of any money or goods earned by this, and up to 10 years in prison on top of the other fines.

  • Agibson

    This idiot used to be a family friend 20+yrs ago he probably doesn't even no the truth he has been lying about his military past since the 80's!! He deserves every single thing he gets. This man is the biggest fraud I have ever heard of, or had the misfortune of knowing! He has lied about not only his military past but his history of being a State Trooper. Vets and Troopers both should be infuriated that he has drug such honorable names through the mud!! One day he will get what he deserves!!

  • justme

    maybe he was just trying to keep up with the mayor of B-port

  • DWL

    Every honorable vet should be infuriated. The m0r0n dishonors them as well as this type of make-believe wanna be.

  • bob

    Alot of vets obtaining medication from the VA and selling them on the streets for profit.

    • Inez

      Bob,
      "A lot of veterans"? Where do you get your info? If you know of abuse, please report it. If not, do not make generalizations that paint a "lot of veterans" with that brush.

      • bob

        This has been reported, as a veteran, I don't like to see this abuse of the system or the neglect of others, for profit. Maybe you Inez should buy some,paint thinner. Its none of your business where or how I get my info!!