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Ex-Marine officer gets prison term in disability, rent fraud scheme

Ex-Marine gets 4 months in prison for fraud scheme involving disability payments and phony rent receipts

A former Marine officer was sentenced Monday to four months in prison and ordered to pay more than $90,000 in restitution after pleading guilty to a scheme to defraud the Marine Corps and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Shawn A. Joyce, 34, who was a captain, admitted that he submitted phony rent receipts for reimbursements and also received VA disability benefits while on active duty.

Joyce was stationed on active duty at Camp Pendleton during the scheme, according to court documents.

He exploited a rule that allows reservists to seek rent reimbursement when called to active duty, prosecutors said.

In 2009 and 2010, he falsely claimed to be paying up to $4,030 a month in rent in Solana Beach, and then in 2011, he falsely claimed to be paying $3,700 a month in Fountain Valley, according to court documents.

Joyce also failed to notify the VA when he was called to active duty and he continued to receive VA disability payments, even seeking an increase, prosecutors said. The law prohibits an active-duty service member from receiving VA disability payments.

After his prison term, Joyce, who lives in Encinitas, must spend a year of home confinement under the sentence imposed by U.S. District Judge John Houston.

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