Fake vet from New Castle won’t withdraw guilty plea
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Guilty. I want to withdraw my guilty plea. OK, I’ll plead guilty.
That’s the route a criminal case has taken for a man who admitted to pretending to be a veteran Marine for more than two decades. Mark Mulcahy, 47, of New Castle, appeared in court Thursday and indicated he would not try to withdraw his guilty plea.
He now faces sentencing in Garfield County on March 12.
Mulcahy was arrested Feb. 28, 2008, and charged with seven felonies for allegedly giving a false identity to local law enforcement. He pleaded guilty to one count of identity theft offered in a plea agreement and later said in October he wanted to withdraw his guilty plea.
Investigators said Mulcahy pretended to be David Keith Anderson, also known as David Keith Ronayne, for around 24 years. The real Anderson was alive in California for most of those years but died in a bicycle accident in 2006, according to an arrest affidavit.
Anderson served in the U.S. Army from 1973-74, but Mulcahy, pretending to be Anderson, told people he served in the Marine Corps. He had obtained a “DD-214” form in Anderson’s name, which is issued on separation from military service, investigators said.
Mulcahy told a Denver District Attorney’s Office investigator in an interview at the Garfield County Jail that he had permission from Anderson to assume the man’s identity but that he later regretted it.
“He did not want to keep Anderson’s identity, but he felt trapped,” the investigator wrote in an affidavit.
In 2003 and 2004, Mulcahy received free gastric hernia surgery and other care worth $6,296 at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Denver by falsely using Anderson’s identity, affidavits say. Mulcahy told investigators he went to the hospital after hurting himself on a drilling rig and getting unsuccessful surgery in Glenwood Springs. He said he was sorry and claimed his ex-wife talked him into it, an affidavit says.
His ex-wife tipped off authorities after she realized Mulcahy was “living a lie” and a Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General investigator dug into Mulcahy’s past, an affidavit says.
Mulcahy reportedly grew up with eight siblings in Springfield, Ill. He became commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Glenwood Springs in 2004. At least one person was sentenced to community service through Garfield County, which the person said amounted to personal chores at Mulcahy’s New Castle home.
Mulcahy also faces theft, criminal impersonation and forgery charges in Denver for the allegedly scammed surgery at the VA hospital. He’s still being held in the Garfield County Jail on $45,000 bond.
Contact Pete Fowler: 384-9121
Post Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO
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