A Navy veteran told investigators he believed the “U.S. government had wronged” him when asked why he had taken thousands of dollars in undue compensation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Arthur McCants, III, a 68-year-old resident of Eight Mile, was convicted and sentenced recently for what authorities described as a four-year scheme to “pad” his travel voucher claim forms in order to claim undue mileage.McCants, who served in the U.S. Navy as a communications officer from 1972-1977, was officially charged and convicted of theft of government funds. As a veteran, McCants is entitled to travel benefits during his visits to the Veterans Health Administration.
However, federal prosecutors say McCants used a fake address to falsely claim $43,580.34 in additional mileage compensation, filing nearly 1,000 fictitious travel claims between January 3, 2011 and January 9, 2015.
According to McCants’ statements to authorities, “he knew what he was doing was wrong, but he felt that the U.S. Government had wronged him, also.”
U.S. District Court Judge William E. Steele sentenced McCants to time served on June 29 — bringing his total time in custody to just under four months. McCants will also serve a three-year term of supervised release and will additionally be required to make full restitution to the VA.
Though defrauding the VA was McCants first charge under federal law, he’s seen several arrests locally for cocaine possession, theft and other drug-related charges. The most recent of those was recorded in 2009, according to the Mobile Metro Jail.
Special Agents of the VA’s Office of the Inspector General assisted with the investigation of this case, which was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Suntrease Williams-Maynard and George May.
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