BRADENTON (FOX 13) - A 71-year-old Vietnam veteran has been found guilty of false claims of blindness that led to the VA giving him $583,465.74 over the last 20 years.
Doyle Mullins Jr. will spend the next nine months inside his Bradenton home under house arrest and another five on probation for his crimes. theft of government monies.
For more than 20 years, Mullins claimed to be “totally and permanently blind” and got disability checks every month for thousands of dollars.
“It is kind of baffling to me because it’s an extensive amount of information the VA needs before they grant service connection,” said Manatee County Veterans Services Counselor Renee Medina.
Mullins was also given grants for a car and adaptive housing and medical benefit payments to his wife.
“I have vets fighting deadly diseases that got in the military fighting to live and take care of family. Seeing someone take advantage of that, it’s disgusting,” Medina said.
But someone caught onto Mullins and investigators watched him drive, mow his lawn, and run errands, all while supposedly blind.
Mullins pleaded guilty to the charges in October.
Fellow Vietnam veteran Billy Coffey is outraged by the case and a punishment that he believes was a slap on the wrist.
As part of the sentencing, Mullins is required to pay the money back.
“He’s totally wrong, apparently has no scruples of what he's done or how many other people he's hurt,” Coffey said.
Mullins would not comment on this story.