Federal prosecutors say a former soldier who lied his way to a Purple Heart by faking injuries from the Iraq War cheated Washington state and the federal government out of more than $750,000 — about three times what investigators cited when they first charged him with fraud in 2014.
Darryl Wright, a former Idaho National Guardsman, appeared for sentencing Thursday in U.S. District Court in Tacoma, where Judge Benjamin Settle said he wanted to hear additional testimony about Wright’s mental health before issuing punishment.
Prosecutors are seeking a five-year prison term, arguing that Wright falsified statements from fellow soldiers to obtain two awards — a Combat Action Badge and the Purple Heart, reserved for those wounded in action — and then parlayed those medals into a wide range of disability and other benefits, including forgiveness of more than $40,000 in student loans.
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