A New Jersey veteran exaggerated his military assignments and received more than $100,000 in disability payments based on his false statements, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger said.

Kamil Wakulik, 38, of Long Valley has pleaded guilty via videoconference to theft of government funds and interstate transmission of a threat of injury after allegedly sending a threatening text message to an investigator, officials said.

Wakulik received about $118,000 in benefits after telling the Department of Veteran Affairs that he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of missions that required him to recover human remains following natural disasters in the Philippines and Thailand, authorities said.

Investigators later learned that Wakulik, an active service member in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2003 to 2007, was never assigned to recover human remains, prosecutors said.

Wakulik also sent a text message to an agent with the Veteran Affairs Office of the Inspector General on August 23, 2022, threatening physical violence against the agent or anyone involved in the investigation, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The defendant’s attorney, Lorraine Gauli-Rufo, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

©2023 Advance Local Media LLC.


Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

(Carlos Bongioanni/Stars and Stripes)

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