A U.S. Army sergeant major from Winchester who allegedly lied about his combat experience and injuries to obtain tens of thousands of dollars in supplemental benefits was indicted today, the 68th anniversary of D-Day, on federal charges.
William John Roy, 57, faces up to 55 years in prison if convicted of three counts each of stealing government property and making false statements, and one count of presenting false writings to defraud the United States.
A grand jury in Riverside handed down the seven-count indictment after evidence was presented by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Roy will be issued a summons in the coming days, ordering him to appear for an arraignment and bond hearing at U.S. District Court in Riverside next month, according to U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Thom Mrozek.
He said the defendant, who has been in the Army for more than 35 years and remains an active-duty command sergeant major — the highest rank available to a non-commissioned officer in the Army — is at home in Winchester.
In 2007, Roy allegedly filed documents with the Department of Veterans Affairs claiming that he had been wounded two times in 1974 while serving as a medic with a special forces unit in Vietnam.
The defendant also allegedly supplied bogus records indicating that he had been awarded the Bronze Star for valor and two Purple Hearts for his injuries.
The purpose of the submissions was to obtain $27,000 in disability benefits for himself and $30,000 in educational benefits for his daughter, all of which he eventually received, according to Mrozek.
“An investigation revealed that during the period of his claimed Vietnam service, Roy was actually in Germany in a non-combatant role,” Mrozek said. ”According to court documents, Roy submitted a Purple Heart Certificate purportedly signed by Richard Nixon four months after the president resigned from office.”
The indictment also alleges that in 2008, Roy submitted a letter to the Department of Defense requesting a Purple Heart for injuries he sustained three years earlier during a mortar attack on a forward operating base in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. Investigators later determined that the defendant was not present during any such attack, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Roy’s current duty station was not immediately known.