LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A North Little Rock man was sentenced to federal prison Thursday after prosecutors said he claimed disability in what they called a case of stolen valor.
Darold Maxfield Jr. received a four-month prison sentence and was ordered to pay $91,651.70 restitution for false disability claims to the Veterans Administration. The 30-year-old Maxfield pleaded guilty to theft of public money and making a false statement in January. He will also have to serve three years of supervised release after he completes his prison sentence.
The U.S. Attorney said Maxfield had submitted a disability claim to the VA for psychological trauma in 2018 due to recovering the remains of a cadet who died during a land navigation exercise at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Maxfield claimed to have been attending the U.S. Military Academy Prep School when the recovery of the cadet took place. His application for disability was approved and he began receiving $1,567 a month.
The VA’s Office of Inspector General investigated Maxfield’s claim after being alerted to possible fraud. Investigators found that the physician’s signature on his disability claim was cut and pasted from another application.
Investigators further determined that a West Point cadet died during a field training exercise three days after Maxfield’s enrollment at the prep school. However, investigators said Maxfield was nowhere near where the remains were recovered and was not on the land navigation course when the deceased was discovered.
Investigators said the two cadets who did find the deceased cadet’s body told investigators they were the only ones there when they made their discovery.
Authorities said Maxfield received a total of over $91,000 in disability payments before his fraud was discovered.
The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas.