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Geneseo man accused of faking service in Vietnam to get veterans disability benefits

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ROCK ISLAND, Illinois — A Geneseo man is charged in federal court for lying about military service, combat medals and combat injuries.

William Jones, 66, is charged with theft of government funds and making false statements to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for disability benefits. The indictment had remained sealed until this court appearance, say court documents.

The indictment alleges that Jones claimed he had served in Vietnam in the 1970s and submitted a form to receive veterans disability benefits. The form indicated that Jones had served in combat in 1972 and was assigned to Special Operations in Vietnam. It also said he was shot down in enemy territory and rescued three weeks later by U.S. Marines.

Jones was never in Vietnam, say court documents.

Twice in May of 2015, Jones lied to Veterans Affairs employees by fabricating documents to reflect that he received combat medals, that he was assigned to 10th Special Operations in Vietnam, that he was assigned to conduct drug interdiction missions in the Golden Triangle area of Southeast Asia, and that he was wounded by shrapnel caused by a mortar round while he was a crewman on a Spectre Gunship.

Judge Darrow ordered that Jones be released on bond with conditions of release, including surrender of Jones’ gun safe key.

A trial will begin Aug. 1, 2016.

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