Army Veteran Fakes Blindness and Defrauds VA – Now Gets Prison

| July 26, 2022

According to the Marine Corps Times and several other media outlets, John Paul Cook is

Army veteran who faked blindness for nearly $1M is going to prison
By Jonathan Lehrfeld | Jul 25, 06:48 PM

A former soldier who defrauded Veterans Affairs out of nearly $1 million by pretending to have a service-connected disability was sentenced in court to less than a year in prison, according to the Department of Justice.

John Paul Cook, 58, from Marshall, North Carolina, received approximately $978,138 in disability payments from the VA between 1987–2017 due to his fake blindness, the DoJ said.

Despite his claims of being visually impaired, Cook repeatedly passed vision screening tests for his driver’s license, purchased and registered over 30 vehicles he routinely drove, and participated as a leader with the Boy Scouts of America in activities requiring eyesight, the DoJ added.

Federal district court judge Max O. Cogburn Jr. sentenced Cook to 10 months in prison, five of which will be served in home confinement, according to the DoJ. Additionally, Cook was ordered to serve three years of supervised release and to pay more than $930,000 back to the VA.

Court documents show that Cook enlisted in the Army in November 1985. The following year, after sustaining an injury, he argued that a preexisting eye condition had grown worse.

After a medical evaluation in 1987, Cook was discharged and began receiving VA disability benefits, the DoJ said. His compensation increased over the next 30 years and by 2005, when the VA wrongly declared Cook legally blind, his compensation reached the maximum rate.

He also received additional monetary benefits to remodel his home, the DoJ said.

Other twists on the story can be found at the Department of Justice, Charlotte Observer and Coffee or Die.

From Coffee or Die:

In a sentencing memorandum, Cook’s public defense attorney, Emily M. Jones, revealed that the ex-soldier is a church pastor and the married father of two teenage sons.

Although federal sentencing guidelines called for Cook to spend 24 to 30 months behind bars, she urged the judge to penalize him with only five years of probation, including eight months spent on home detention.

“He knows right from wrong, and tries to practice what he preaches,” Jones wrote. “He understands that he made tremendous errors in his conduct in this case, and wants to demonstrate that he is someone who values doing the right thing.”

The judge went with a tougher sentence.

This was all we could find for Cook regarding military service, but this was just a quick sweep.

DoD Manpower Data Center / SCRA


This answers your age-old question of “How come we don’t see any cooks on This Ain’t Hell / Valor Guardians?”   Well, sort of answers, anyway.

Category: Veteran Health Care

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This thief is a pastor? That’s why I don’t go to church anymore. These so-called “men of God” are nothing more than a bunch of worldly sinners. I’m not going to be told I’m going to hell by a sinner and a thief – and I’ve never received anything I haven’t earned.


Like in Friday:


Pretty broad brush you’re painting with there, fella.


The Scriptures calls those who believe, a Kingdom of Priests, but Jude in the Bible warns of false teachers and prophets way back in the early days of the Church.

The early Church met in homes and places of work and some Synagogues. The organized mess of religion today is a far cry from the 1st century teaching. The Naked Bible Podcast has a few shows on todays Home Church along with a wealth of other information for seekers or believers.

Revelations warns those who add or take Words away! The truth is out their!




“I can see!”

The Stranger

Never gets old!😂


Should have gotten much more time. Calls himself a pastor… I’d hate to be in his shoes at the Judgment.

Hack Stone

He never saw it coming that he would be caught.


Prison will bring it all into focus.


Jeff LPH 3 63-66 is going to kick both of your asses…

jeff LPH 3 63-66

How about Cooks goose is really going to be cooked when he goes into the joint.

jeff LPH 3 63-66

It takes 2 or more to get focus by Bubba


Wonder if he can see what a POS he is? Pretty clear to us.

Green Thumb

The False Commander “Phony” Phil Monkress (CEO of All-Points Logistics) cannot be happy about this at all.

I mean, he just lost the All-Points Logistics chaplain. It ain’t like those guys come along very often. Furthermore, he lost out on tribute. When you attend the All-Points Logistics School of Executive Management and other training courses, you are expected to donate at least 10% of your monthly “salary” back to All-Points Logistics.

Phildo says the money goes to infrastructure, but I say it goes to his coke habit, sexual deviancy and Lori Benton’s increased workload.

The more posers and All-Points Logistics graduates and employees get caught, the less the revenue stream. Even Phildo knows that….

Hack Stone

Those Navy SEAL Tridents ain’t cheap.


I believe he worked as the oversight examiner for APL for many years before he saw a better opportunity showing people the light.

The Stranger

Wait up…I’m kind of out of the loop on the goings-on at the mighty conglomerate that is APL. What happened to their Chaplain?


He just couldn’t see a clear path to righteousness


So, 5 & 5 is a “tougher sentence? I wonder what color the sky is in their world.


The Brotherhood can rest easy – He’s not NDSM eligible.


He has been stealing since before I served….

The Stranger

The Brotherhood NEVER rests so long as there is even one low-born motherfucker out there stealing valor. 🤣


Play stupid games, win jail time.


Generally speaking, service connected disability is not subject to federal income tax. In this righteous reverends case, the income was obtained by fraudulent means and is, therefore, taxable income.


The judge should have given him five years in the PITA prison. Only five months for defrauding the VA out of almost $1 million is ridiculous. Who says fraud doesn’t pay.

Green Thumb

And the VA doc should be charged w/ malpractice for such a false diagnosis.

Unless he/she/they were in on it…


Yeah, how did that slip by the VA medical watchdogs.

(The same ones that said being an Airborne Ranger Green Beret Jumpmaster Pathfinder former Combat Engineer NCO and Infantryman with hundreds of parachute jumps was insufficient to prove that busted up knees were service connected).

Asking for a friend.

The Stranger

If the only thing your friend had after all that was busted up knees, he is damn lucky. He should still be getting benefits, no doubt, but I’m kind of surprised that his hips, shoulders, back, ankles, and hearing aren’t also causing issues.

A Proud Infidel®™

IMHO he should have been locked up with Bubba, Thor and the gang!

Just Lurkin

Just a friendly reminder that a few years ago two VA employees, both of whom had salaries in six figures, defrauded the VA of $400k in “moving expenses.”
They didn’t go to jail.
They weren’t fired.
Ultimately they weren’t even demoted.
It pays to be a part of the “protected class”.

The Stranger

Please don’t remind me. That kind of shit makes me want to do a full “LTC Frank Slade, United States Army, Retired.”