Local News

Lumberton veteran ordered to pay back $900K in false benefits

Posted September 4, 2012

— A Lumberton man who claimed he was an injured veteran was ordered Tuesday to pay back nearly $900,000 in government benefits that authorities said he collected fraudulently over 16 years.

U.S. District Court Judge Louise W. Flanagan sentenced Ronnie Glenn Eddings, 41, to five years in prison, followed by three years of probation and restitution.

Eddings pleaded guilty in February to theft of government property after being indicted on the charge in 2011.

According to court documents, Eddings served in the Navy and claimed he was injured while deployed in Saudi Arabia. He claimed his symptoms became progressively worse until he was confined to a wheelchair.

In 1994, Eddings applied for compensation through the Department of Veterans Affairs, was awarded full disability and given monthly compensation. Two years later, he applied for and received increased benefits based on his worsening health.

In 1999, the VA learned Eddings had been employed for about five months as a transportation officer with a sheriff's office. He had also been employed as a security officer and a social worker. All three jobs required tasks that could not be performed by someone in a wheelchair, authorities said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ethan Ontjes prosecuted the case.


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  • Wacky_dood Sep 5, 2012

    The timelines don't seem right here. The story says the VA caught on to this liar in 1999 but formal charges weren't brought until 2011? And there is no way he could get $900k in benefits between the time he started his scam in 1994 to 1999. So it seems he was getting benefits for years after the VA first caught on. If true, that's remarkable.

    I think they should just start imposing the death penalty on these people. Obviously, this parasite will never be able to pay the money back. And now we get to pay for 3 hots and a cot while he relaxes in some minimum security federal prison for 5 years. He'll be costing us for the rest of his worthless life.

  • harleysfather60 Sep 5, 2012

    How ??? It is difficult to get a band aid from my primary care thru the VA. Generally takes six weeks to get an appointment to be seen, which by then I have paid for emergy care. Dont beleive me call the 800 number and ask to speak with any Dept. and see if you can get thru to a live person, when you dont and are forced to leave a message it will feel like winning the lottery if they call you back.

  • sunshine1040 Sep 5, 2012

    You are so right TAXMAN just how many people did he pay off to get his claim approved

  • kermit60 Sep 5, 2012

    I'm sure he has the $900,000 saved so as soon as he gets out of jail he can pay it back.

  • daughters of anarchy Sep 5, 2012

    Wonder how many vets NEED to get benefits, who aren't?

  • Tax Man Sep 5, 2012

    They also need to prosecute, convict and incarcerate the Doctors and other experts who provided the VA with the false information about this criminal. You cannot get disability without some medical practitioners verifying the disability - get them to pay the $900K while the liar spends his five years in prison.

  • whats happening Sep 5, 2012

    This is an opportunity to create more jobs. Obviously, there weren't enough employees to detect this was fraud since 1999. Hire more people...

  • GPEP63 Sep 5, 2012

    The VA discovered the fraud in 1999, Why did the VA continue to pay him?

  • BE Sep 5, 2012

    What does this say about the VA's ability to manage it's disability program? Shame on Eddings from taking from others who need help.

  • Disabled Vet Sep 5, 2012

    Jokers like this one just make it harder for the honest vets to receive benefits.