Sarah Cavanaugh, who posed as Marine with cancer, now eligible for reduced sentence

| December 7, 2023

Sarah Jane Cavanaugh stole the identity of a Marine with cancer. Cavanaugh later admitted to fraudulently receiving a quarter million dollars from charitable donations and employee benefit programs while using this identity. She was sentenced to serve six years, scheduled to be released from prison towards the end of 2027. A new federal rule makes her, and a few others, eligible for reduced sentences.


The rule retroactively gives qualifying criminals a break on prison time, especially those who lack a prior history of breaking the law.

Federal officials have already sent letters to three white-collar criminals in Rhode Island, including Sarah Jane Cavanaugh, an East Greenwich woman who pleaded guilty earlier this year after investigators discovered she’d stolen the identity of a Marine with cancer.

Using the stolen identity in what’s known as a “stolen valor case,” Cavanaugh admitted to fraudulently collecting a quarter million dollars over five years from charitable donations and employee benefit programs.

“Sarah Cavanaugh’s conduct in the course of her scheme is nothing short of appalling,” Rhode Island U.S. Attorney Zachary Cunha said at the time.

Cavanaugh, who was sentenced to six years behind bars, is currently scheduled to be released from prison in December 2027, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

The second convicted criminal notified so far is Sarah Gaulin, who was convicted of embezzling more than $740,000 from a Rhode Island law firm in 2021. A former bookkeeper, Gaulin admitted to making checks meant for the law firm payable to herself and spending the funds on personal expenses, including rent, car payments and credit card debts.

Gaulin has already been released to live at a residential re-entry center, more commonly known as a halfway house, and is scheduled to be released from there next September, according to the BOP.

WPRI.COM has additional information on this story.

Category: Stolen Valor

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I have mixed emotions about this. On one hand, let her serve her sentence. On the other hand, reduce the sentence and let her find her own way, free of living on the taxpayers’ dime. Her life as she once knew it is over, and she’s already on the sh*tlist of many, especially Vets and those who are fighting or know someone fighting cancer.


“Her life as she once knew it is over”

I wouldn’t bet on that.


“Her life as she once knew it is over”

It wasn’t even really her life that she knew.


Well, you could say she knew her LIfEs.

As for her life being over, the days of grifting and getting tossed money and benefits have been exchanged for a felony record and national infamy. Sure, not everyone is going to just recognize her on the streets, but whether she serves two years or 20, it’s going to be a different ball game.

I think she got off too easy, even if she serves all six years.


She can always re-invent herself on OnlyFans.


That rule 34 is a wonder.


I had to google “rule 34”. And yes, it is.


I’m sure she will be stuffing things up her butt for a living post prison


Maybe she can sneak a pistol in there for whatever love interest she found while on vacation at the big house.


Like this ?

>> Woman who hid gun in her vagina gets probation in drug case

>> Waco police say that when Castaneda was arrested in 2015, she told officers on her way to McLennan County Jail that she was packing a loaded handgun in her birth canal. Police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said a jail matron performed a cavity search and found the gun, right where Castaneda said she had hid it.

Castaneda’s attorney, Seth Sutton, denied the story as impossible, but Swanton said the police department stood by it. <<

Last edited 2 months ago by MarineDad61

I was trying to avoid going there, but her lack of morals and passable good looks (not to be confused with attractiveness), even as a mid-30s convict, make that a possibility. I wouldn’t pay for it, but hey, she’s well-known enough to probably get someone to give her five dollars a month.

Last edited 2 months ago by Fm2176

Someone has to go where others fear to tread. My inner 12 year-old cannot always be contained! He’s a rotten little fucker.


OK, let me get this straight.

Sarah Cavanaugh steals $250K, gets caught then sentenced to 6 years in prison. She is ordered to pay $250 in restitution. She obviously can’t do that while she is in prison from a salary from stamping license plates. If she put the money into savings, she breaks even other than the interest she earned, but she may have done well by putting it in a high-interest savings account.

If she blew through the entire $250K, she’d have to get a well-paying job to make payments, but that would be delayed until after a prison sentence. But – it was all stolen money to begin with. She still breaks even.

The prison time of six years got reduced. She may end up spending 2 years with the rule change.

Although I can see the short jail time as a deterrent, there doesn’t seem to be a real downside to attempting to steal a quarter million dollars if one can get away with it.


Correct. Some people steal millions and get a few months in prison or nothing at all. Fact there was a priest in Massachusetts who was given probation for stealing $100,000 last month. The CEO of Odyssey international was given probation for attempting a hundred million in contract fraud earlier this year. So yes, our justice system is a f****** joke.


Speaking of license plates, I saw an Illinois plate that read “0fksgvn”. I’m sure the inmate that stamped it got just as big a laugh as the person in DMV who approved it. That was probably the last plate he/she approved before retiring. Tried to catch up to take a pic, but a red light let them get away.


Now I have to see if I can sneak that by my state.

President Elect Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH Neande

She needs to be given a Pfizer “shot”, and get a “turbo” cancer for realz.


Or some ‘ Canadian Healthcare ‘


Sure, let her go. As a condition of release, I want 5% of her taxable income garnished until complete restitution is made, plus reasonable interest. I want 20 hours of community service monthly until the debt is paid. There are plenty of veteran’s cemeteries with plenty of headstones that need washing.


She could also be able to vote, again.

Amateur Historian

Yep. There goes St. Louis.


Twice if she drops dead.


Maybe she is turning her life around.

Amateur Historian

Maybe, but seeing is believing.

Prior Service

I heard the fine print is so they can tack the savings in reduced jail time on to J6 mandatory sentencing minimums…..


Despicable skrunt! How many of us here have lost loved ones from the Big C? Yeah, just about all of us. And more to the point, how many here are suffering from a Big C that was caused by their Military Service? A bunch…and still counting.

Let the punishment fit the crime. Put her ass to work making little rocks out of big rocks and when she has made enough truckloads to repay what she stole (average price for a truck load is $1350.00 depending on location and size of rocks) then and only then she can be released to start another scam. Just my two (2) pennies worth but until swift, certain, and painful punishment is administered, dirtbags gonna dirtbag.

Mike B


Just leave her ass and any other Valor Thief for that matter to rot in prison until they die, or send them into exile on some uninhabited island. They don’t deserve to walk free amongst real heroes.

I’ve seen and read of people with less heinous crimes spending longer behind bars then this twat-waffle. Stealing valor is a heinous crime in my book.

USAF Retired

Mike B

Another issue I have with these despicable shit stains, is the public perception, after a few of these scams happen, they see every veteran story as a scam.

The long term fallout is far reaching, and a legitimate veteran is screwed down the road. While the scammer just goes on living life, and reinvents themselves at some point.

I’m sorry I have no love for these people, and truly wish the repercussions for these crimes was more severe. Maybe to the point that people would think twice before committing them.

USAF Retired

Veritas Omnia Vincit

Prison holds two distinct purposes, protect the public from dangerous people and extract punishment from those who harm the public in some way or another.

In the case of these two women the public isn’t in any physical danger and the two convicted felons will never have the life they used to have largely due to those convictions interfering in a great many potential employment opportunities.

The benefit of keeping them in prison is not a benefit at all simply based on the cost of keeping them behind bars, and as they represent no actual physical danger to the public the early release actually puts them in a place where they can get a shitty job, learn to live on their own and start paying back the people they scammed.

If insider trading can rob the public of millions and serve little more than a year or two there is little justification, unfortunately, from a logical standpoint of imprisoning these two for longer than insider traders. Especially as the law as is written allows for these early releases.

Has justice been served?

I don’t think so, and this pisses me off. But I also recognize the reality that these non-violent crimes are never punished with the same severity as other non-white collar non-violent crimes. Which means sometimes shitty people don’t get punished as severely as we like, but they didn’t get a walk either and they will carry this weight of incarceration and conviction for the rest of their days. Something none of us will ever have to endure.

Amateur Historian

*Sigh* I miss the days when are country’s Justice System threw the book at criminals….hard.

Amateur Historian


My proof reading skills have been sucking for awhile.


And as a pirate would say… Aaahr!

Green Thumb

Lori Benton has been busy.