Retired Navy Officer Accused|Of Defrauding Sept. 11 Fund

     WASHINGTON (CN) – Federal prosecutors seized property that retired Navy Cmdr. Charles Coughlin allegedly acquired by defrauding the Sept. 11, 2001 Victims Compensation Fund. Coughlin, who was stationed at the Pentagon on 9/11, rejected an initial award of $60,000 and ultimately received $331,034 for a “partial, permanent disability,” but ran in the November 2001 New York City Marathon, and continued to play competitive lacrosse and basketball, prosecutors say.

     Prosecutors say Coughlin lied in a January 2004 letter to a judge in his 9/11 case. Coughlin wrote, “‘(S)ince 9/11 my life has changed substantially, I no longer engage in many athletic activities or am able to perform numerous household functions to the degree that I did previously due to the symptoms mentioned above limiting my ability to participate’ and avoid ‘any activities requiring abrupt turning of my heard or raising my left arm above my shoulder for any length of time.’ Accordingly, Coughlin wrote, ‘I no longer run marathons, ceased playing lacrosse last season after one game, and avoid playing basketball to any degree since I am a “lefty” shooter.’,” according to the complaint.
     Actually, prosecutors say, “Post-September 11, 2001, Coughlin continued to participate in physical activities including competitive lacrosse, basketball, and running.” They also claim that Coughlin had sought medical attention for the alleged medical problems he attributed to the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon, during which, he claims, he “was struck on the head by falling debris” and “inadvertently struck [his] head on (what [he] believed to be) a door.”
     The USA accuses Coughlin of wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering. It seized his property in Severna Park, Md.

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