Win of the Day: Democrat Senator Who Is An Amputee War Veteran Calls Out IRS Contractor Faking War Injury To Receive Military Benefits
An IRS contractor who has been using a minor, possibly non-existent injury from his prep school days 27 years ago to secure government contracts for his company was publicly shamed by Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) in such a magnificent way that it almost made his fraud worthwhile.
Braulio Castillo, CEO of Strong Castle Inc., claims he broke his foot playing sports at a military prep school in 1984.
Before starting his technology company, Castillo filed for and received a 30 percent disability rating from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), allowing Strong Castle to label itself a “service-disabled, veteran-owned small business,” thereby making it eligible for so-called “set-aside” government contracts.
Castillo is now embroiled in a lengthy probe into the possibility that he further gamed the system by using his friendship with top IRS official Greg Roseman to obtain contracts.
But back to Castillo’s supposed disability: According to the House Oversight Committee, the fracture Castillo claimed he suffered didn’t show up in X-rays taken at the time of his supposed injury.
And Castillo doesn’t even remember how he got injured in the first place.
That was more than enough for Castillo to earn the ire of decorated war hero Duckworth, who lost both her legs and the use of her right arm while serving as a helicopter pilot in Iraq.
But what really pushed her over the edge was a letter sent by Castillo to the VA as part of his efforts to secure government contracts.
"These are crosses that I bear due to my service to our great country and I would do it again to protect this great country," Castillo wrote.
"I’m so glad that you would be willing to play football in prep school again to protect this great country," Duckworth responded. “Shame on you, Mr. Castillo. Shame on you. You may not have broken any laws … but you certainly broke the trust of this great nation. You broke the trust of veterans. Iraq and Afghanistan veterans right now are waiting an average of 237 days for an initial disability rating. It is because people like you who are gaming the system are adding to that backlog that young men and women who are suffering from post-traumatic stress, who are missing limbs cannot get the compensation and the help that they need."
You must watch the whole thing.
[H/T: Military Times]
UPDATE: A Georgia native from my home county in Georgia (Cherokee County) needs to hear Duckworth’s stinging and scathing criticism for his actions as of late. Shane Ladner scammed the State of Georgia to receive a Purple Heart vanity license plate for six consecutive years, despite having never earned an actual Purple Heart. What’s worse is that this man and his wife, Meg, were injured in a parade in Texas where he was scamming the State of Georgia, the State of Texas, the US military, and paradegoers. His wife, possibly to be his ex-wife, had to have her leg amputated in part because of his lies.
A former Holly Springs police officer accused of fabricating claims of his military service has been arrested.
Cherokee Sheriff’s Office detectives arrested Canton resident Shane Ladner, 41, after noon today, the agency said in a news release.
He is currently in custody at the Cherokee County Adult Detention Center with an $23,100 bond.
A six-week investigation done at the request by Blue Ridge Judicial Circuit District Attorney Shannon Wallace revealed that Ladner did not receive a Purple Heart, an accolade he claimed to have received.
Ladner has been charged with four counts of theft by deception, one count of false swearing and one count of false statement to a police officer.
The theft by deception charges stem from Ladner receiving a free Purple Heart Georgia license plate in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, according to the press release.
When Ladner originally applied for the license he was “required to swear that he was a Purple Heart recipient,” which explains the false swearing charge, Cherokee Sheriff’s Office Spokesman Lt. Jay Baker said in the release.
The charge of false statement stems from him lying to detectives during an interview.
The United States Army has no record of the 2004 dd214 that Ladner presented to obtain his Purple Heart Georgia License plate, Baker added.
"Cherokee Sheriff’s detectives appreciate the cooperation and assistance they have received from the United States Army, Cherokee County Tax Commissioner’s Office, media and the National Archives in this matter," Baker added.
An investigation done by Fox 5 Atlanta questioned Ladner’s claims he received the Purple Heart from an injury he sustained while serving in the Army in Panama. After the claims surfaced, the Holly Springs Police Department severed ties with Ladner.
According to news agency, Ladner lied about winning a Purple Heart in Panama in order to become eligible for the “Hunt for Heroes.” The veterans organization Show of Support only allows 25 wounded combat veterans to participate in the event each year.
The “Hunt for Heroes” is an all-expenses paid trip which consists of a whitetail deer hunt, an honorary banquet, and a parade recognizing the wounded warriors for their service to the country. It was during the parade that a train struck the float the Ladners were on.
As a result of the accident, Ladner’s wife Meg lost her left leg.
Since the accident, the Ladners had received an outpouring of support from the community and many held benefits to help raise money for the couple’s medical expenses.
Baker said there is “no indication” that Meg Ladner was aware that Ladner allegedly lied about his claims.
Moral of the story: DON’T LIE ABOUT MILITARY SERVICE OR INJURY!!!
Sounds like the IRS scammer has some good, or should I say, bad company.