NATIONAL NEWS

New Hampshire veteran admits to faking his need for a wheelchair to claim $660,000 in extra benefits

Jan 26, 2024, 9:24 AM | Updated: 9:36 am

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire veteran has admitted to faking his need for a wheelchair for 20 years to claim more than $660,000 in benefits he was not entitled to.

Christopher Stultz, 49, of Antrim, pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court on Thursday to one count of making false statements. He faces a maximum prison term of five years when he’s sentenced May 6.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that beginning in 2003, Stultz claimed he could no longer use his feet, causing the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to rate him as 100% disabled and increase his monthly benefits. He was also given money to buy and adapt special cars.

Prosecutors said Stultz was “surveilled on multiple occasions” walking normally. In 2021, he used a wheelchair while inside a VA medical center in Boston, but after leaving, he stood up and lifted the wheelchair into his car, and then drove to a mall and walked around various stores, prosecutors said. They said he did a similar thing after leaving a Manchester VA medical center the following year.

Several witnesses also reported they had never known Stultz to use a wheelchair over the past 20 years, prosecutors said.

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New Hampshire veteran admits to faking his need for a wheelchair to claim $660,000 in extra benefits