KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A Tennessee military veteran who claimed he was a war hero has been sentenced to 2 ½ years in federal prison for duping federal agencies out of nearly a half-million dollars in benefits.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Phillips told 59-year-old Charles C. Kaczmarczyk during his sentencing hearing Wednesday that he had done a "grave disservice" to the real heroes of war and imposed the maximum penalty allowed.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reports Kaczmarczyk's tales included helping to evacuate the U.S. Embassy during the Vietnam War and watching the secret mission to rescue victims of the Iran hostage crisis.
Prosecutors say he never saw combat during his Air Force career but faked documents for the Purple Heart and the Silver Star and filed for more than $450,000 in benefits.
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