Man Pretends to be Blind to Steal from the VA

A Florida man was sentenced this week for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the VA by claiming that he was blind.

A Vietnam War veteran was sentenced this week for pretending to be blind to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Doyle Mullins, Jr., 71 of Bradenton, FL was sentenced to nine months of home detention and five years of probation for theft of government funds. As part of his sentence, the Court also entered a money judgment against him for $583,485.74, which constitutes the proceeds of the theft from the VA. Mullins pleaded guilty on October 16, 2017.

Court documents show that from approximately 1995 through 2017, Mullins repeatedly lied to the VA by falsely claiming that he was totally and permanently blind. He also said he was unable to drive, work, or perform household tasks, however, during the course of their investigation, law enforcement agents observed him regularly driving, mowing his lawn, running errands, and banking.

As a result of his false statements, he received thousands of dollars per month in disability payments, grants from the VA for a car and adaptive housing, and medical benefits for his wife.

This case was investigated by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Megan K. Kistler.

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Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.