U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
District of Alaska
District of Alaska
For Immediate Release
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Karen L. Loeffler, United States Attorney
Ketchikan Man Sentenced in Federal Court for Fraud and Illegal Possession of a Firearm
Anchorage, Alaska — United States Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that a Ketchikan man was sentenced in federal court in Anchorage for his conviction for possessing and using a falsified military discharge record, for misusing a false federal certificate or license, for making false statements in an application for a passport, for using the wires to defraud the Veteran’s Administration, and for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
On January 27, 2011, Thomas Alan Dye, 55, a resident of Ketchikan, Alaska, was sentenced by United States District Judge John W. Sedwick. He was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $257,000 to the Veteran’s Administration, to serve three years of supervised release, and to write letters of apology to the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars Post in Ketchikan, to the Order of the Purple Heart, and to the Commanding Officer of the Naval Special Warfare Command. Dye also abandoned his interest in the two firearms he possessed at the time of his arrest.
According to information presented to the court by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel R. Cooper, Jr., Dye, who previously served for seven years with the United States Coast Guard from which he received an honorable discharge, falsified his military discharge record (Form DD-214) to include medals, licenses and certificates which he had never earned or been awarded. The false medals included the Bronze Star with the
V device for valor, the Purple Heart, the Good Conduct medal, and various medals and devices for service in Viet Nam. The false DD-214 also claimed that he had attended and received certificates of completion from the Basic Underwater Diving/Underwater Demolition School, the U.S. Coast Guard Motor Life Boat School, and the U.S. Air Force Survival School. Dye also falsely claimed designation as a Sea Air Land (SEAL) Special Operator, and as a U.S. Coast Guard Motor Surf Coxswain.
Using the false DD-214 and other documents as a basis, Dye claimed that he suffered post traumatic stress disorder by reason of combat service as a SEAL operator in Viet Nam at the Parrot’s Beak on November 22, 1972. Dye falsely claimed a service-connected disability for this non-existent combat service, and the Veteran’s Administration paid Dye $257,000 on the false claim from May, 1992 to November, 2008.
In October, 2007, Dye submitted applications to the Alaska Inter-Island Ferry System that contained false licenses and certificates. Dye claimed to be licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard as a Master of Steam or Motor Vessels of Not More Than 100 Gross Tons Upon Near Coastal Waters, as a Mate of Steam or Motor Vessels of Any Gross Tons Upon Inland Waters (Navigating), and as a Third Mate of Steam or Motor Vessels of Any Gross Tons Upon Any Ocean. In fact, Dye was never issued any license or certificate by the U.S. Coast Guard.
On September 26, 2006, in Hilo, Hawaii, Dye applied for a United States Passport in the name of Thomas Andrew Dye, using a false birth date and the social security number of a man who had died in Pennsylvania in 1971.
Dye, at the time a fugitive, was arrested by Deputy United States’ Marshals in Ketchikan on April 15, 2010. At the time of his arrest, he was in possession of two firearms after having previously been convicted of a felony in 1996 in Oregon.
Ms. Loeffler commended the Veteran’s Administration’s Office of Inspector General, United States Coast Guard Investigative Service, the United States’ State Department Diplomatic Security Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Dye, and to the United States Marshal’s Service and the Ketchikan Police Department for the successful apprehension of Dye on his fugitive warrant. She also commended the help and cooperation of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Hawaii.