Rhode Island lady who posed as Marine with most cancers to get greater than $250K in donations sentenced

A Rhode Island lady who lied about being an injured Marine Corps veteran identified with most cancers was sentenced to just about six years in jail and ordered to pay again full restitution on Tuesday.

Sarah Jane Cavanaugh, 32, collected greater than $250,000 in charitable contributions, veteran advantages, and donations throughout her stolen valor run.

“Today’s sentencing sends a strong message to those who would represent themselves as something they’re not in order to profit from the kindness and respect shown to our nation’s deserving veterans,” Special Agent in Charge Christopher Algieri of the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General’s Northeast Field Office said in a statement.

The fraudster, whose stolen valor stint lasted over 5 years, acquired Marine Corps service uniforms to put on to public occasions and speeches whereas displaying a Purple Heart and Bronze Star with a “V” system for valor in fight on her chest.

Cavanaugh claimed she served in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2009 till 2016 and had been wounded by an IED (improvised explosive system) whereas serving in Iraq.

She claimed burn pits and inhaling particulate matter from an explosive precipitated her lung most cancers.

Cavanaugh was named commander of a Veterans of Foreign Wars publish in North Kingstown, RI, which gave her over $6,000 whereas on the publish from 2016 to 2022.
VFW Dept. of Rhode Island/Facebook

Nine veterans’ charities dished out funds to Cavanaugh, which she used to pay for bodily remedy, in-home care, retreats, fitness center membership and electrical payments, and even present playing cards for groceries and different necessities.

Cavanaugh obtained $207,000 from the Wounded Warriors Project between 2017 and 2021, in keeping with the Department of Veterans Affairs inspector general’s office.

In an influence assertion submitted to the courtroom, a veteran that Cavanaugh met by way of the Wounded Warrior Project slammed the scammer, saying she took a therapeutic veterans artwork program that would have been utilized by a veteran in want of care.

Background checks into her army service present that Cavanaugh by no means was in any department of the US Military.
Youtube/Inside Edition

The unidentified veteran revealed {that a} good friend — who was additionally a veteran — utilized for the spot however was denied and finally took their very own life, the court document shows.

Cavanaugh raised $4,700 whereas fundraising funds to assist pay for medical payments attributable to the fabricated harm.

Cavanaugh pleaded responsible to aggravated identification theft, cast army discharge certificates, fraudulent use of army medals, and 4 counts of wire fraud in July 2022.

The Road Island VFW Cavanaugh was apart of gave her over $6,000 while at the post from 2016 to 2022.
The Road Island VFW Cavanaugh was part of gave her over $6,000 whereas on the publish from 2016 to 2022.
VFW Dept. of Rhode Island/Facebook

“By brazenly laying claim to the honor, service, and sacrifice of real veterans, this defendant preyed on the charity and decency of others for her own shameless financial gain,” US Attorney Zachary A. Cunha said in a statement.

Suspicion of her false identification didn’t come up till early 2022.

The HunterSeven Foundation — a veteran-based charitable group — performed a background examine into her army service after she utilized for funds and found she was a social employee for the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Providence.

Cavanaugh’s lawyer, Kensley Barrett, had sought a decrease sentence, citing her lack of prison historical past and the “significant price” she has paid by way of humiliation.

She initially confronted a most sentence of 24 years earlier than her plea settlement.