Fake veteran wants to withdraw guilty plea
Summit County, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” A man who admitted to pretending to be a veteran Marine for more than 20 years wants to withdraw his guilty plea.
Mark Mulcahy, 46, of New Castle, was arrested Feb. 28 and charged with seven felonies for allegedly giving a false identity to local law enforcement. He pleaded guilty to one count of identity theft in a plea agreement.
But in court Thursday, his attorney, public defender James Conway, said Mulcahy wants to withdraw his plea. He didn’t elaborate and declined to comment further outside the courtroom. Conway said he could have a conflict of interest as a result of Mulcahy’s desire to withdraw his plea so he can no longer be Mulcahy’s attorney.
District Judge Daniel Petre said he would appoint attorney Pete Rachesky to represent Mulcahy.
Sentence hearings had been postponed as the District Attorney’s Office was looking into conflicting information about Mulcahy’s criminal history.
Investigators said Mulcahy pretended to be David Keith Anderson, also known as David Keith Ronayne, for around 24 years. The real Anderson was alive in California for most of those years but died in a bicycle accident in 2006, according to an arrest affidavit.
Anderson served in the U.S. Army from 1973-74, but Mulcahy, pretending to be Anderson, told people he served in the Marine Corps. He had obtained in Anderson’s name a “DD-214” form, which is issued upon separation from military service, investigators said.
Mulcahy told a Denver District Attorney’s Office investigator in jail that he had permission from Anderson to assume the man’s identity but later regretted it.
“He did not want to keep Anderson’s identity, but he felt trapped,” the investigator wrote in an affidavit.
In 2003 and 2004, Mulcahy received free gastric hernia surgery and other care worth $6,296 at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Denver by falsely using Anderson’s identity, affidavits say.
Mulcahy said he went to the hospital after injuring himself on a drilling rig and getting unsuccessful surgery in Glenwood Springs. He told the investigator he was sorry and blamed his ex-wife for allegedly talking him into it, according to the affidavit.
His ex-wife tipped off authorities after she realized Mulcahy was “living a lie” and a Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General investigator dug into Mulcahy’s past and determined she was correct, according to an affidavit.
Mulcahy’s brother said the family was from Springfield, Ill., and grew up with eight siblings. Mulcahy also became the commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Glenwood Springs in 2004. At least one person was sentenced to community service through Garfield County which reportedly amounted to a delivery of Jagermeister and chores at Mulcahy’s New Castle home.
Mulcahy is being held in the Garfield County Jail on $45,000 bond. Mulcahy also faces charges in Denver of theft, criminal impersonation and forgery relating to the allegedly scammed surgery at the VA hospital.
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