A Rhode Island woman who lied about being an injured Marine Corps veteran diagnosed with cancer was sentenced to nearly six years in prison and ordered to pay back full restitution on Tuesday.
Sarah Jane Cavanaugh, 32, collected more than $250,000 in charitable contributions, veteran benefits, and donations during her stolen valor run.
“Today’s sentencing sends a strong message to those who would represent themselves as something they’re not in order to profit from the kindness and respect shown to our nation’s deserving veterans,” Special Agent in Charge Christopher Algieri of the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General’s Northeast Field Office said in a statement.
The fraudster, whose stolen valor stint lasted over five years, acquired Marine Corps service uniforms to wear to public events and speeches while displaying a Purple Heart and Bronze Star with a “V” device for valor in combat on her chest.
Cavanaugh claimed she served in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2009 until 2016 and had been wounded by an IED (improvised explosive device) while serving in Iraq.
Rhode Island woman who posed as Marine with cancer to get more than $250K in donations sentenced