New Castle man accused of scamming veteran benefits
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Authorities accused a New Castle man of stealing a veteran’s identity for 24 years and getting free health care in Denver with his “veteran” status.
The real veteran was alive in California for about 22 of those 24 years, authorities said.
A Garfield County Sheriff’s Office arrest warrant affidavit alleges Mark Mulcahy, 46, pretended to be David Keith Anderson and served for a time as the president of the Glenwood Springs Veterans of Foreign Wars post. The document says Mulcahy hid his true identity from his wife and received a $6,296 upper gastric hernia surgery, at no cost to him, at the Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
A phone call from Mulcahy’s wife triggered an investigation by the VA Office of Inspector General, which contacted the Sheriff’s Office with its findings. It was unclear how Mulcahy’s wife found out or why she called authorities.
After reviewing social security records, photographs, signatures, fingerprints and interviewing family members, investigators say they determined Mulcahy’s true identity. The real David Anderson, also known as David Ronayne, lived in Modesto, Calif., and died in a bicycle accident in 2006, the affidavit says.
The real Anderson served in the U.S. Army from 1973 to 1974, the affidavit says, but Mulcahy, pretending to be Anderson, told people he served in the Marine Corps. The document says Mulcahy had somehow obtained a “DD-214” form in Anderson’s name. The form is issued upon retirement or discharge from military service.
Mulcahy was arrested on Feb. 28. On Wednesday, the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office charged Mulcahy with seven felonies: identity theft, three counts of forgery of a public record and three counts of criminal impersonation.
After being contacted by the VA investigator, the Sheriff’s Office determined Mulcahy provided false information when he was booked into the Garfield County Jail between 2005 and 2007. In May 2005, Mulcahy made a false report of a theft. In April 2006, he was arrested by New Castle Police for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. In May 2006, he was interviewed by Rifle police about a sexual assault allegation, and in January 2007, deputies arrested Mulcahy on an outstanding warrant, according to the affidavit.
Authorities say he pretended to be Anderson each time, forging the name on jail booking sheets and even presenting a VA beneficiary card with David Anderson’s name on it.
A former Veterans of Foreign Wars state commander told the VA investigator that in 2004, Mulcahy said he retired from 20 years in the Marine Corps and wanted to join the VFW post in Glenwood Springs. Mulcahy became the president of the Glenwood VFW post and served under Anderson’s name through May 2005, the affidavit states.
“Numerous complaints and issues followed after Mulcahy became president, which included not holding meetings,” the affidavit states.
The VFW official was later unable to contact Mulcahy by phone and was told Mulcahy moved out of the Glenwood Springs area, the affidavit says.
The affidavit says Mulcahy had a son in Aspen with the last name on a birth certificate as “Mulcahy-Anderson.” According to his jail booking sheet, Mulcahy told authorities he lived in New Castle and worked for a drilling company.
A spokeswoman with the Department of Veteran’s Affairs in Denver didn’t return a phone message. Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario and an investigator with the VA Office of Inspector General couldn’t be immediately reached. Mulcahy hadn’t posted a $45,000 bond Friday, and will appear April 10 for arraignment.
Contact Pete Fowler: 384-9121
Post Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO
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