Man says brother, a New Castle resident, should stay in jail |

Man says brother, a New Castle resident, should stay in jail

Pete Fowler
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” A man accused of stealing an Army veteran’s identity and using it for 24 years will hide and avoid prosecution if he posts bond to get out of jail, the man’s brother said Tuesday.

Mark Mulcahy, 46, is being held in the Garfield County Jail on $45,000 bond on suspicion of identity theft, three counts of forgery of a public record and three counts of criminal impersonation. He also allegedly used the false identity to get free health care. During his Feb. 28 arrest, he told jail officials he lived in New Castle and worked for a drilling company.

Mulcahy’s brother, Mike Mulcahy, said in a phone interview he plans to contact local authorities and ask for a higher bond.

“Someone needs to get in contact with them and let them know he is a major flight risk,” he said.

Mike wasn’t sure why Mark allegedly stole the veteran’s identity, or how Mark’s life turned out the way it did.

“I have no idea why,” he said. “He just thinks it’s easier to con somebody or to steal from somebody. … He’s psychologically imbalanced, period.”

According to Mike, the two are from Springfield, Ill., with a total of eight siblings. He said their biological father was dying of cancer and committed suicide when Mark was about 5 and Mike was 15. Their mother, who stayed at home, got remarried to a man who served in the Air Force. Mike said he remembers Mark getting in trouble as early as 10 or 12 and stealing from his family to get money. Mike described his brother living the life of a con man with a rap sheet “as long as I am tall” in Washington, Oregon and California.

When the Mulcahys’ mother died of cancer in 1998, Mike said, Mark never showed up for the funeral or to visit her while she was dying. Mike doesn’t hide his anger when talking about his brother.

“She wanted to believe in him, wanted to believe he had changed,” Mike said. “I’d tell her, ‘Mom, do not trust him. Do not turn your back on him.’ He’d rip her off, take whatever he could get.”

Mike said he worked as a corrections officer in Illinois and remembers inmates blaming problems on childhood troubles.

“I’m not going to go into details with what my biological dad did to me but it was horrendous,” he said. “I know what child abuse is firsthand. I didn’t end up going out and breaking laws and hurting people.”

Mike never knew Mark’s wife, but he said Mark has been with many women who he conned and used for money. He last saw Mark in 1986 or 1987, he said, and didn’t know Mark was using an alias at that time.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, a phone call from Mulcahy’s wife triggered an investigation by the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General. An investigator believed he determined Mulcahy’s true identity and contacted the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, which led to the felony charges for allegedly giving a false identity while getting arrested or being interviewed by police between 2005 and 2007.

Mark Mulcahy allegedly pretended to be David Keith Anderson, also known as David Ronayne. The real Anderson served in the U.S. Army from 1973-74, according to the affidavit, but Mulcahy, who never served in the military, told people he served in the Marine Corps for 20 years. He somehow obtained a “DD-214” form in Anderson’s name and used his false veteran status for a $6,296 surgery for free from the Denver VA Medical Center, the affidavit says. Mulcahy served as the president of the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Glenwood from mid-2004 through May 2005, the affidavit says.

The real Anderson lived in Modesto, Calif., and died in a bicycle accident in 2006.

Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario, a public defender and a VA Office of Inspector General special agent in charge to whom questions were referred couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday.

The allegations come as no surprise to Doug Sterner, an Army veteran living in Pueblo who did two tours in Vietnam. Sterner runs the website to preserve the history of true military heroes. He said there are “tons” of cases of people who pretend to be veterans.

Sterner, who’s said his website gets 12 million hits a month, has promoted legislation that helps protect real heroes and punish those who impersonate them. The Military Valor Roll of Honor Act, if passed, would create a database of military awards and medals. Sterner says this would help prevent people from using fraudulent DD-214 forms, which have no security features and are “just pieces of paper.” The forms are issued upon separation from military service.

The Pueblo Chieftain newspaper reported that Sterner’s wife, Pam, wrote a college term paper that became the Stolen Valor Act of 2006. The paper called Sterner “the world’s foremost expert on the Medal of Honor” and said he cracks down on people posing as heroes. Veterans groups, FBI agents and others reportedly use Sterner’s database when they suspect someone is posing as a hero.

If the allegations against Mark Mulcahy are true, Sterner said, “We have men and women coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan and the VA system is already strained as it is, and this man is stealing money not from the VA, he’s stealing money from legitimate wounded veterans who need those funds. It’s far more than taking advantage of a government agency. He’s stealing from the wounded warriors in the current war.”

Mark Mulcahy is scheduled to appear for arraignment on April 10. Mike hopes his brother remains behind bars.

“He does not deserve to be running free,” he said. “He is a threat to society.”

Contact Pete Fowler: 384-9121

Post Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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