BUFFALO, N.Y. — A western New York man who pretended to need a wheelchair to trick the federal government out of more than a million dollars in benefits has been sentenced to 32 months in prison.
The U.S. Attorney’s office says 59-year-old Richard Klaffka was sentenced Tuesday. His 62-year-old wife, Cathleen, received probation.
The Klaffkas also must pay $1.5 million in restitution.
While pleading guilty in March to fraud, Richard Klaffka admitted lying to the Department of Veterans Affairs beginning in 2006. He claimed an injury from military service in 1978 left him in a wheelchair, but investigators found he hiked, biked and played horseshoes.
Klaffka also collected workers compensation benefits after lying about being injured while working at the post office.
The investigation began with an anonymous call to a fraud hotline.