A Rhode Island woman falsely claiming to be a combat-wounded Marine is sentenced to 70 months for defrauding veterans charities out of more than $250,000.
Sarah Jane Cavanaugh, a Rhode Island woman falsely claimed to be a combat-wounded Marine to scam veterans charities out of over $250,000, has been sentenced to 70 months in prison and three years of supervised release. She has also been ordered to pay over $284,000 in restitution. Cavanaugh pleaded guilty to wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, forged military discharge certificate, and fraudulent use of military medals. For five years, she claimed to be a Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient wounded by a roadside bomb blast while deployed with the Marines and later developed service-related cancer. Cavanaugh’s schemes fell apart after a veterans group discovered she had no service record.