What could have been an impressive story of a veteran’s dedication to his field, ended up not only being fraudulent, but a case of stolen valor. In October 2018, Darold Maxfield filed for disability benefits from the Veterans Administration, alleging he sustained psychological trauma after he recovered the remains of a cadet who died while conducting a land navigation exercise at West Point Military Academy. Based on this traumatic story, Maxfield’s VA disability application was approved, and he began receiving $1,567 per month. However, this wasn’t Maxfield’s story to claim.
In his application for disability, Maxfield said he joined the U.S. Army in 1985 and was injured in combat in Iraq. He also said he went to work at a VA hospital in 2007 and in 2009. Due to shoulder and back injuries from previous traumas, Maxfield said the doctor told him he “was in bad shape” and should apply for benefits. But in May of 2020, the VA was alerted of potential fraud regarding Maxfield’s benefit application after it was discovered that the physician’s signature on Maxfield’s disability benefit questionnaire had been cut and pasted into Maxfield’s application from another application. Ctrl+C, Ctrl+X, Ctrl+V? Yes. That easy.
There were bigger lies than a fabricated doctor visit in Maxfield’s application. The primary being that Maxfield wasn’t even in the vicinity at the time of the traumatic event. The two cadets who did find the dead cadet’s remains had stated that they were the only two present when the body was located. Where was Maxfield? Maybe home practicing his keyboard skills.
Great job by the Veterans Affairs Office with this investigation
Today’s Fraud of The Day is based on article “VA official found guilty of theft, false statements in disability benefits case” published by The Arkansas Democrat Gazette on July 26, 2023
A North Little Rock man accused of defrauding the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs out of more than $22,000 in disability benefits he was not entitled to was found guilty on two federal counts by a jury Tuesday after 90 minutes of deliberation.
Darold Maxfield Sr., 56, a VA service representative, was indicted by a federal grand jury in 2021 on charges of theft of public money and making false statements to an agency of the United States. Maxfield was accused, at the time of the indictment, of collecting about three years’ worth of enhanced benefits for a 100% service-connected disability rating he received by submitting a questionnaire that inflated the severity of a diagnosis of adjustment disorder with depressed mood by detailing symptoms Maxfield was not exhibiting.