Va. Man Sentenced for Inflating Military Service

April 8, 2010

A man who admitted inflating his military service will spend a year in prison. Thomas Barnhart also must repay $11,098 in veterans benefits
that he wasn't entitled to receive.

U.S. District Judge James Turk sentenced the 59-year-old Barnhart on Thursday in federal court in Roanoke.

Barnhart said in court that he lied about his military service because the Navy and the U.S. public didn't appreciate his real service.

He served in the Navy and Coast Guard for 21 years.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jake Jacobsen says Barnhart began inflating his service in 1979 in claims for promotion and benefits. The false claims included receiving five Purple Hearts, three Bronze Stars, two Silver Stars and a Vietnamese medal of honor.

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