Mikhail Robin Wicker is accused of falsely claiming to be a overcome-wounded Marine veteran and prisoner of war to obtain additional than $146,000 in overall health, education and learning, and disability benefits. (Photo courtesy Moorhead Place Public Educational facilities).

Federal prosecutors have accused a Minnesota guy of falsely professing to have been prisoner of war in Iraq and to have served with the Maritime device whose casualties were among the best of the war to defraud the Division of Veterans Affairs, or VA, out of a lot more than $146,000 in health and training advantages together with disability compensation, court docket information clearly show.

Mikhail Robin Wicker, aka Michael Robin Wicker, has been billed with wire fraud for allegedly falsifying files to gain positive aspects to which he was not entitled, in accordance to the indictment from him.

Prosecutors declare Wicker used yrs falsely claiming that he served with Lima Firm, 3rd Battalion, 25th Maritime Regiment, 4th Maritime Division, a device that endured some of the highest casualties of the Iraq war, according to the indictment. The business missing 22 Marines and a Navy Corpsman all through its 2005 deployment around Haditha in Iraq’s Anbar province.

Wicker, 37, is accused of falsely boasting that he was wounded in fight and that he was held as a prisoner of war in Iraq from February 25 to March 4, 2005, in accordance to the indictment, which the U.S. Attorney’s Workplace, District of Minnesota posted on the web.

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Francis Herbert White III, Wicker’s legal professional, instructed Undertaking & Goal on Friday that his shopper is innocent.

“I think we will need to permit the govt attempt to show their situation,” White explained. “All I require to say is that he is not responsible of the crimes for which he has been billed. We will let this enjoy out in the court docket.”

When requested if he was asserting that Wicker never ever claimed to be a prisoner of War, White replied, “I did not say that.”

“I explained he is not responsible of the crimes for which he has been billed,” White ongoing.

Among December 2015 and April 2020, Wicker allegedly collected veterans added benefits to which he was not entitled, which include primary treatment, unexpected emergency treatment, psychiatric treatment, dental care, optometry, and other specialised cure, the indictment versus him says.

“Based on his fraudulent claim of prior armed forces service, Wicker received this care possibly cost-free of cost or for only a small co-fork out,” in accordance to the indictment.

Prosecutors claim that Wicker submitted a solid DD-214 and fraudulent certificates for the Iraq Campaign Medal and Purple Heart to bolster his declare that he experienced deployed to Iraq as a Marine in between 2004 and 2005, and that he had gained the Purple Coronary heart, Prisoner of War Medal and various other decorations generally affiliated with Iraq deployments, the indictment suggests.

Wicker allegedly claimed that he experienced from Write-up-Traumatic Worry as properly as injuries to his shoulder, knee, and wrist from a roadside bomb explosion in Iraq, courtroom records show. For those alleged accidents, Wicker received $1,000 a month in incapacity compensation gains.

Later, Wicker allegedly used to the VA for an boost in incapacity rating, proclaiming the signs or symptoms from his supposed combat-associated accidents had worsened, courtroom records display.

In June 2017, Wicker applied for VA instruction advantages, the indictment states. He ultimately been given a regular monthly subsistence allowance and the VA made immediate payments to North Dakota State University for tuition, expenses, and provides.

The follow of falsely claiming to be a veteran or to have gained army awards is known as “Stolen Valor.” 

Some notable Stolen Valor scenarios incorporate Sarah Jane Cavanaugh, who was sentenced past yr to 70 months in jail for defrauding veterans charities of far more than $250,000. Cavanaugh falsely claimed she was a overcome-wounded Marine veteran as nicely as a Purple Coronary heart and Bronze Star receiver.

Marine veteran Paul John Herbert was indicted in September for allegedly falsely boasting to have been wounded by a roadside bomb in Iraq right after the Gulf War to receive much more than $344,000 in disability positive aspects. Herbert also applied for a Purple Heart.

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