A Rhode Island woman has been sentenced to federal prison for lying about serving in the military.
Thirty-two-year-old Sarah Cavanaugh of East Greenwich, who was a former VFW commander in North Kingstown, was sentenced to nearly six years in prison on Tuesday.
According to the charges from the Justice Department, Cavanaugh worked at the Rhode Island Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Providence and used her position to misappropriate the identities and combat experiences of veterans staying there.
“Sarah Cavanaugh’s conduct in the course of her scheme is nothing short of appalling,” remarked U.S. Attorney Cunha. “By brazenly laying claim to the honor, service, and sacrifice of real veterans, this defendant preyed on the charity and decency of others for her own shameless financial gain. I am grateful that, with today’s sentence, she has been brought to justice and will face the consequences of her actions.”
“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,” said Special Agent in Charge Christopher Algieri of the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General’s Northeast Field Office. “The VA OIG thanks the United States Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners for their efforts in bringing this defendant to justice.”
Cavanaugh allegedly claimed to have developed service-related cancer and fraudulently fundraised over a quarter-million dollars, for which she will have to pay restitution.
(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)