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Man Behind Bogus Veterans’ Raffle Gets Prison Term

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Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis area man who posed as a Marine veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq in soliciting donations for a bogus raffle will spend a year in federal prison.

Forty-one-year-old Matthew Buckingham of St. Louis County was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in St. Louis. He pleaded guilty in August to a felony count of impersonating a federal agent.

Authorities say Buckingham wrongly said he was affiliated with a veterans’ charity and solicited donations for a raffle to benefit wounded or homeless soldiers, veterans or other military personnel.

Prosecutors say he also claimed to be employed by various government agencies or departments.

But Buckingham never held the raffle and was not a veteran or an employee of any of the governmental agencies he claimed.

“Matthew Buckingham dishonored our veterans through deceit and took advantage of Missourians’ charitable spirit,” Attorney General Chris Koster said in a release.  “We will take action against those who prey on the goodwill of Missourians, especially at the expense of those who have sacrificed so much for our country.”

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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