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pete992

Former Jersey Vets' Official Sentenced For Falsifying His Own Records

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FORMER JERSEY VETS' OFFICIAL SENTENCED FOR FALSIFYING HIS OWN RECORDS

William Devereaux will serve 30 days house arrest and then five years of probation.

NOTE from Larry Scott, VA Watchdog dot Org ... Background on William Devereaux and his career-gone-bad can be found here ...

CAMDEN - A former state Military and Veterans Affairs official was sentenced Friday to house arrest and probation for falsifying his veteran and government records in order to receive tax exemption and benefits.

William Devereaux, 65, of Sycamore Court in Laurel Springs, will serve 30 days house arrest and five years probation under the sentence for theft by failure to make the required disposition imposed by Superior Court Judge Irvin Snyder. Devereaux is prohibited from holding any job with the state of New Jersey. He also agreed to reimburse Laurel Springs $54,142.25 in unpaid taxes.

During his probationary term, Devereaux is banned from working with veterans in any capacity.

Devereaux, appointed director of veterans programs for the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs by former Gov. James McGreevey, admitted to using falsified veterans' records and other falsified state documents to wrongly claim exemption from property taxes in Laurel Springs from April 2002 to his arrest in November 2008. He falsely stated he was 100 percent permanently and totally disabled due to military service, qualifying him for property tax exemption. In fact Veterans Affairs had stated Devereaux was only temporarily disabled and was eligible to pay property taxes.

Devereaux on Friday attempted to withdraw from his November plea agreement, saying he did not fully understand the implications of the agreement specifically the ban on working with other veterans. This ban would hinder his ability to work with an area law firm that had hired him, Devereaux said.

Snyder rejected Devereaux's motion to withdraw the plea. He stated Devereaux was fully aware of the implications of the plea when he agreed to it. He added a sentence is designed to create hardship for the defendant to deter that person from repeating the criminal act, and to deter others who might consider similar action. The fact the plea agreement hinders Devereaux's ability to hold his current job is not a factor that should allow for a plea withdrawal.

"If the court allowed the defendant to withdraw I think a substantial injustice would be done," Snyder said.

Devereaux is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs Office of Inspector General Criminal Investigation Division. Devereaux is alleged to have claimed on military benefits forms for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that he was a paratrooper and artilleryman, exchanged fire with enemy combatants and was involved in an incident of friendly fire. He also claimed to have been injured multiple times in Vietnam and asserted he received medals such as the Purple Heart, the Soldiers Medal and the Bronze Star with "V" device.

Devereaux was never a paratrooper or artilleryman, according to the Camden County Prosecutor's Office. He served as a payroll distribution specialist in Vietnam for 4 months, 11 days in 1968. There is no record of his being injured in combat or receiving medals for heroism, according to the prosecutor.

Edited by pete992

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