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False claims lead to prison Neal Putnam | Sat, Aug 03 2013 12:00 PM

A Chula Vista man has been sentenced to two years in federal prison and was ordered to pay $357,977 to the U.S. Navy and Department of Veterans Affairs for falsely claiming he was disabled due to back and knee injuries.

Leray Conroy Shurn, 60, received benefits that he was not entitled to as he was working at his landscaping business, known as Leray’s Landscaping.  He was allowed to remain free on $75,000 bond until he surrenders on or by Aug. 9 by U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Whelan.

On Jan. 22, a federal jury convicted him of nine counts of mail and wire fraud that stemmed from false statements he made that he was injured and obtained federal employee’s compensation benefits.

The jury also convicted him of five counts of making false statements to the U.S. Navy and Department of Veterans Affairs in his claim that back or knee injuries prevented him from working as a Navy civilian employee.

Shurn was operating a landscaping business in which he employed others while claiming he was too injured to be employed. He worked for numerous clients and he denied being self-employed, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. The fraud went on for five years.

Whelan also fined him $5,000 and ordered him to pay $1,600 in penalty as­ses­sments last week.

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