An organization that provides free flights to disabled veterans found out Saturday that a recipient of a flight to Georgia apparently wasn't who he'd claimed to be.
Jeffrey Alcorn, 40, was flown to Georgia by Veterans Airlift Command to pick up a service dog, founder Walt Fricke said. Alcorn had told the organization he was a wounded Marine with post-traumatic stress disorder.
"We're an organization that is about more compassion and less red tape," Fricke said. "So we try not to have much in the way of paperwork."
Still, Fricke said, a quick Google search led his organization to suspect that Alcorn might not be a Marine.
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The organization called Lexington police about the possibility that Alcorn was lying, Fricke said.
"We still didn't know for sure at that point," Fricke said. "But when they landed back in Lexington, police were waiting."
Alcorn was charged with two counts of theft by deception on Saturday, Lexington police Sgt. Ann Welch said.
According to district court records, a warrant was issued Monday afternoon after Alcorn failed to appear in court for an arraignment.
Veterans Airlift Command, which is based in St. Louis Park, Minn., flew the service dog back to Georgia.
The organization has used hundreds of volunteer pilots and aircraft to provide free flights to thousands of wounded veterans during nine years of operation, Fricke said.
In that time, during which about 10,000 veterans have been transported, the organization has never before had a false claim like this one, he said.
"We've had a few that may have exaggerated their condition," Fricke said. "But never anything like this."