Bruce Duncan pleads guilty

By: Stephanie Dumm News Messenger Reporter
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Bruce Duncan might have to pay $20,548 to the Department of Veterans Affairs. In a Sacramento courtroom Aug. 30, Duncan plead guilty to a charge of theft of government property. Duncan was arraigned Aug. 30, after being charged with false claims about his military decorations and theft of government property, according to a court documents from the United States Attorney’s Office for the eastern district of California, which was filed Aug. 4. The former Lincoln resident was an active member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3010, which is located in Lincoln. Exhibit A of a court document filed Aug. 30 details how Duncan allegedly stole from the government. Duncan enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1970, went absent without leave three times during basic training, and “was given a general discharge in 1971 in lieu of a court martial,” according to exhibit A, and “was never deployed nor saw combat, he never served in Vietnam and never received the Purple Heart.” Starting Aug. 6, 2008, Duncan “knowingly received compensation benefits from the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA),” after he said he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder “due to his military duties in Vietnam.” Duncan turned in an application to receive compensation benefits Jan. 4, 2008, which included a forged military record that said he had served as a sniper in Vietnam and had received a Purple Heart award, according to the court document. Duncan forged the military document to say he served one additional year of service in the military, “including one year, four months and 22 days of foreign service,” according to the court document. To receive compensation from the VA, Duncan “underwent a psychological examination” to show he suffered from PTSD, where he told a psychologist he was wounded during battle and “suffers from extreme mental anguish, flashbacks and depression.” Duncan received compensations from the VA Aug. 6, 2008 through June 2009. Sentencing for Duncan will be Nov. 15, and a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorneys Office said “recommendations for sentencing that the government and defendant agreed to will be presented to the judge, who will consider them.” Kent Parsell, commander for VFW Post 3010, spoke with The News Messenger about Duncan’s guilty plea on Friday. “It doesn’t make me feel any better that he plead guilty” Parsell said about the plea. “We still feel defrauded.”