Fake SEAL Charged with Defrauding VA Update

| December 4, 2019 | 39 Comments

Richard Meleski, Career Criminal

Late last month Steve posted up the sorry tale of one Richard Meleski, who fraudulently claimed military service as a Navy SEAL, falsely claimed he served in Beirut, and claimed he was both a POW and Silver Star recipient. These claims resulted in his wrongly receiving over $300,000 from the VA, funds that rightfully should have gone to actual disabled Vets.

https://valorguardians.com/blog/?p=92966

From Steve’s post:

In his application for disability benefits for PTSD, Meleski also falsely claimed he had been awarded the Silver Star for his heroic actions.

He also submitted another application for compensation in which he used the obituaries of actual Navy SEALs, claiming that he had served alongside them, McSwain said.

Meleski has been charged with health care fraud, mail fraud, stolen valor, creating fraudulent military discharge papers, and making false statements. He faces a hard earned and well deserved sentence of up to 68 years in prison, $302,121.21 in restitution, and a $2,250,000 fine. And that’s that, right?

Wrong. One of our ninjas has made some subsequent discoveries about Mr. Meleski’s other activities.

“Bucks County Man Accused Of Posing As Navy SEAL and POW To Steal Veterans Benefits Was Convicted Of Arson 4 Times In N.J.”

A 58-year-old Bucks County man charged by federal prosecutors with pretending to be a Navy SEAL and wounded POW to steal $300,000 in veterans benefits, was previously convicted in four separate cases of arson, including setting fire to cottages at a Roman Catholic hermitage for nuns devoted to prayers and silence.

A federal magistrate judge on Tuesday ruled that Richard Meleski, of Chalfont, would remain behind bars until his health-care fraud and stolen-valor case goes to trial or is otherwise resolved.

“Society is entitled to be protected from his criminal propensities, whether they incline him to burn things down or steal from veterans, their widows, and their orphans,” wrote Magistrate Judge Richard A. Lloret in a six-page order.

Lloret also cited a pretrial report that Meleski’s fiancée admitted to illegally purchasing two guns for Meleski in 2017. She said one of the guns had since been sold and the other was still at their Chalfont home. Prosecutors said Meleski was not forthcoming about the guns and federal investigators still did not know their whereabouts.

Nancy MacEoin, the assistant federal defender assigned to represent Meleski, could not be reached for comment Wednesday night.

U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain announced Monday that Meleski had been arrested and charged with an alleged yearslong scheme to obtain health-care benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs and disability benefits from the Social Security Administration.

Meleski claimed to have served as a Navy SEAL in Beirut during the 1980s. He said that during that time he was beaten, shot, and tortured while held as a prisoner of war, then heroically jumped out a window carrying a dead SEAL on his back, and awarded the Silver Star for his actions, prosecutors allege.

In reality, Meleski “never served in the United States military” and was “in the state of New Jersey, not Beirut, at the time of his claimed incidents,” according to the indictment.

It was in New Jersey where Meleski was convicted four times for arson, the prosecution wrote in a motion for pretrial detention. For just those arson cases, Meleski was sentenced to a total of 19 years in prison.

In the most serious case, in 2003, Meleski was sentenced to 10 years in prison for setting fires at Bethlehem Hermitage in Morris County.

The Star-Ledger reported at the time that the hermitage was the home of a priest and several nuns who “live in individual cottages, almost always eat alone and devote their lives to solitary prayers and chores, and silence.”

The prosecutor in the case said Meleski started living there as a guest in November 2000 because he needed a warm place to wait out the winter, not because he wanted spiritual development. In a taped confession, Meleski said he set two cottages on fire in April 2001 on his 40th birthday because he was drinking and angry.

The priest at the hermitage said Meleski worked hard doing chores but he didn’t know the rosary or daily prayers, the Star-Ledger reported. After Meleski was arrested, police found a television, police scanner, and empty wine bottles in his cottage.

Meleski also was convicted in an earlier case for setting a school on fire in Middlesex County.

Meleski was convicted of forgery in 1980 and stealing a gun in 1992. In the latter case, he was convicted of injuring two police officers during an arrest and threatening to kill them. He was sentenced to four years in prison for that case.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Megan Curran wrote in the pretrial motion that Meleski over the years “was required to complete anger management, mental health counseling and psychiatric counseling, yet the defendant continued to commit violent felonies.”

Judge Lloret wrote that the “depth and nature of the defendant’s criminality is revealed by his current crime.”

Lloret wrote, “The VA was established, in President Lincoln’s words, ‘to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan,’ not as a piggy-bank for Mr. Meleski.”

The Stolen Valor Rancid Cherry Test holds true for Mr. Meleski. Thanks to Steve for breaking the story and to our ninja for the research uncovering his criminal past. The article may be viewed in its entirety here: Inquirer.com

Category: Crime, Guest Link, Legal, Navy Poser, Phony SEAL, Stolen Valor

Comments (39)

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  1. ninja says:

    Uh-Oh on his Fiancee illegally purchasing firearms for Ole Richard who is a convicted Felon and Arsonist:

    “Lloret also cited a pretrial report that Meleski’s fiancée admitted to illegally purchasing two guns for Meleski in 2017. She said one of the guns had since been sold and the other was still at their Chalfont home.”

  2. ninja says:

    “The Star-Ledger reported at the time that the hermitage was the home of a priest and several nuns who “live in individual cottages, almost always eat alone and devote their lives to solitary prayers and chores, and silence.”

    Hmmmm.

    Newspaper research from the mid 1970s indicate a Richard Meleski in the Northern part of the US attended a Catholic High School playing various sports.

    Age matches.

    If that is the same Richard, wonder if he was bitter about Priests and Nuns.

    He also confessed to a Priest for setting that fire.

  3. Buckeye Jim says:

    With all of those convictions, I wonder how much time he actually spent incarcerated. Slimeballs gonna do slimeball stuff.

  4. ChipNASA says:

    Bucket of Monkey fuck shit droppings.
    The government won’t see dime one.

    I hope we get to see, sometime in the near future, his mugshot and his new time in the service of the state.

  5. ninja says:

    “A federal magistrate judge on Tuesday ruled that Richard Meleski, of Chalfont, would remain behind bars until his health-care fraud and stolen-valor case goes to trial or is otherwise resolved”.

    That means no bail out for Ole Richard to take care of his dog, Tucker.

    Gonna be interesting as to what will become of his Choo-Choo collection.

    Or his Fiancee.

    Don’t think it will be good for him if he is incarcerated with REAL former Veterans and they find out about his deceit.

  6. ninja says:

    New Jersey had to spend Taxpayer $$$$ for his previous convictions.

    Now Pennsylvania Taxpayers will be doing the same for a Repeat Offender.

    Wonder who will get his Tacoma truck, Choo-Choo Train collection, Tucker The Dog and his Navy SEALS hardback book.

    I still think his case might have been an “inside job” within the VA system, possibly Pennsylvania.

    As his case progresses, am sure more illegal transactions will be exposed to include involvment of other people in his scheme.

  7. 26Limabeans says:

    Oh great, another fire bug. Thats two in as many
    weeks so I guess we can add that to the Sundae.

  8. Combat Historian says:

    …’In reality, Meleski “never served in the United States military” and was “in the state of New Jersey, not Beirut, at the time of his claimed incidents,” according to the indictment…’

    Portions of New Jersey do resemble Beirut, so he’s got that going for him…(Sarc)

  9. HMCS(FMF) ret says:

    Richard Meleski = COCKSUCKER!!!

  10. 2banana says:

    How does a scumbag who never served manage to defraud the VA for so much?

    Don’t they do an ounce a cross-checking and verification?

    • Martinjmpr says:

      This x eleventy brazillians.

      Seriously, can someone who has worked for or with the VA explain this to us?

      As in: Joe Schmoe walks into the VA clinic and says “I have caught the PTSD from my 69 years of service as a Space Shuttle Door Gunner in the Viet of the Nam and want some money and medical treatment. Kthanksbye.”

      Does someone, at some point, ask him to provide, oh, I dunno, maybe a DD-214 or something to show he actually served? Or do they just open up the safe where the big stacks of cash are stored and say “sure, buddy, help yourself?”

      There’s always a gaping hole in these stories where they don’t say whether the fake vet actually presented false documents or whether he somehow was able to connive himself into benefits without presenting any paperwork to prove his claims.

      Because if it’s the latter (and often it seems to be) then the problem isn’t with fake veterans, it’s with the lax procedures at the VA.

      Current VA “verification” procedures sound like they are akin to a bank with a broken vault lock just leaving their money unsecured and putting a note there that says “please don’t steal.”

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      I was told before I even left the Navy the first time to get myself to the local VA office with my DD214 #1 and register for my GI Bill and other benefits. At the time, in those Days of Yore, the DDs were filled out properly and copies handed to you before you left the service. Same thing in the 1970s.

      I don’t know what happened between then and what is going on now, but all I was interested in was my GI Bill so that I could finish school. I had heath insurance through my school and didn’t need that from the VA.

      I guess things have changed enormously. I do know that when I enrolled in VA health care in 2010, I was already in the VA’s system, which made it easier to get benefits, but I guess things have changed substantially in the last few years.

      Is this guy going to spend time in the lockup, or will he get out of it? And is that money ever going to be recovered by the VA? (Doubtful.)

      • 2banana says:

        You would think with today’s technology.

        Sir, may I see your official DD214 that you were given upon discharge?

        Thank you. Let me just verify your copy with the DoD file.

        Ok, all done. There doesn’t seem to be an exact match.

        Lemmie pull up some social security records, birth records and criminal background checks.

        Lemmie pull up your photo.

        Hmmmm…sir, please have a seat while I see if I can straighten this out.

        Hello, security?

      • Ex-PH2 says:

        Yes, that’s really all that’s necessary, isn’t it? Just take the time to do a quick background check, and that should not be done at a medical facility. It should be done at a VA office.

        When I enrolled in VA health care in 2010, I was already in the system, and everything was in place. My ID card came within a very short time, and then the updated version followed. How hard is it to register when you leave the service? You don’t wait until “some day” arrives. Even if you never do anything other than go for a flu shot or make use of whatever GI Bill bennies you have, it puts you in the system.

        This guy should have been caught right off the bat. Someone was asleep at the switch.

        • David says:

          I changed VAs from Houston to the Shreveport region recently…. when I went into the clinic I essentially had to restate why I thought VA should treat me and fill out the forms like I was brand new, (despite having my official letter determining disability and VA card) and it took them three weeks to process it to allow me to see a nurse. There seems to be no uniform process in place.

  11. Wilted Willy says:

    And this shitbag is not serving a life sentence because?????????

  12. ninja says:

    Ole Richard is registered as 77622-066 in the Philadelphia, PA Federal Detention Center (Federal Bureau of Prisons)

    https://www.bop.gov/inmateloc/

  13. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    “Meleski claimed to have served as a Navy SEAL in Beirut during the 1980s. He said that during that time he was beaten, shot, and tortured while held as a prisoner of war, then heroically jumped out a window carrying a dead SEAL on his back, and awarded the Silver Star for his actions, prosecutors allege.”

    GO big or go home, I wonder if his fellow cell block inmates have already started straightening his ass out if yaknowhutimean? IMHO he’s not even worth a squirt of a Real Vet’s piss!

  14. Roh-Dog says:

    This moron has been at fuckery since what? 1980?!
    Time to flush this turd with a HANO jump into Beirut.
    I’ll bet he’ll remember the rosary.

  15. 5th/77th FA says:

    I could make room for Tucker the Dog. Could also throw a rope over a tree for the scumbag Richard Meleski.

    I’m wid others & like we talked about last time this POS was here, who in the VA signed him up initially?

  16. Skippy says:

    What a rotten total piece of shit or turd or💩💩

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