A Purple Heart veteran who pleaded guilty in June to defrauding the Veterans Administration and was sentenced this month, said the charges against him are not true.
Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Thomas D. Schroeder sentenced Willie Dosher Cain to five years of probation and ordered him to perform 250 hours of community service, after he pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement in June.
Cain was also ordered to pay more than $903,000 in restitution and to forfeit a modified van and mobility scooter.
“As far as pleading guilty, this I did and you must remember that there are many in the U.S. who have done the same but were innocent,” Cain, 74, said in a statement emailed to The Fayetteville Observer.
Though Cain said he had “great attorneys” on his case and a judge who treated him “with dignity and respect,” he said at his age, he is tired of court and having to pay a “considerable amount of money in attorney fees.”
Cain said that investigators who documented his movements never spoke with him for his “side of the story.”
According to documents filed with the court, Cain told VA officials shrapnel wounds sustained in Vietnam in 1965 caused him to suffer the loss of the use of both legs, and to lose control of his bowel and bladder.
He also told officials he was unable to perform daily activities such as dressing and bathing without assistance, and that he was dependent on a wheelchair or motorized scooter for mobility.
Officials said because Cain remained physically active, does not suffer the loss of both legs and can perform daily functions unaided, he made fraudulent claims.
“I never claimed that I cannot walk but used a chair or cane occasionally because of mobility problems,” he said.
It was a point that he made to The Fayetteville Observer in 2017 when receiving a mobility device from a nonprofit and a point that his lawyer made in legal motions during his case.
Cain said he is a spinal cord injury patient who has mobility problems “at times,” and is a 27-year veteran with three combat tours who received the Purple Heart because he was wounded with shrapnel in his backside during a deployment to Vietnam.