Virginia Beach, Va. – A veteran accused of fraud was in the Virginia Beach Courthouse on Friday.
Brent Henry was arrested for fraud back in April. He waived his right to a preliminary hearing and was ordered not to leave the state of Virginia. He was also told to have no contact with the non-profit Wags for Warriors, the group who filed the complaint in Virginia Beach.
Police arrested him in April after Adam Mayo, the founder of Wags for Warriors, complained Henry was scamming his non-profit.
On Wednesday, police in Chesapeake said they are also charging Henry with two counts of fraud after the nonprofit Wounded Wear filed a complaint.
“I feel a little hurt by Brent that he would just continually lie to me,” said Mayo.
Wags for Warriors works to train service dogs for veterans with PTSD.
Mayo said Henry told him he was involved in a helicopter crash in 2009 which resulted in his PTSD.
Since November, leaders with Wags for Warriors said they have been working with Henry, raising money to help him pay for medical expenses and by providing hours of training for Henry’s dog, Geneva.
Mayo said, “I forgive him for what he has done but I won’t trust him again and I won’t allow him around any of my guys in this program.”
NewsChannel 3 first met Henry in March.
He told us the same story about a helicopter crash and his struggles with PTSD.
But part of what he was saying didn’t add up, so NewsChannel 3 investigated his military background.
Records from the Marine Corps show he did serve from 1994 until 2000, but also show a bad conduct discharge. That came from a special court martial in 1998. He was accused of unauthorized absence and was demoted to private.
Records also show Henry was not serving in 2009, which is the year he claims to have been in a helicopter crash resulting in his PTSD.
We confronted Henry about the records and his story in March before he was arrested.
He said, “What resources am I taking? I’m trying to raise awareness for guys with PTSD like myself.”
Mayo said he will be screening people better when they want to join his program.
He said he is also contacting people who donated money to help Henry to see if they want their money back. He’s trying to turn this into a learning experience.
“I am not angry at him. The guy apparently needs help of some kind. He doesn’t need a service dog, but he needs help of some kind,” said Mayo.
Henry told NewsChannel 3 he was in Afghanistan several times and deployed a total of eight times. He told this same story to a Chesapeake charity that helps wounded veterans.
Wounded Wear said they gave him $400 worth of clothes and even honored him at a Heroes Event. They said they spent another $500 on him.
A Wounded Wear spokesperson tells NewsChannel 3 that charity leaders are upset.
“It harms the effort because someone like him misrepresents what the real Wounded Warriors are going through and in doing that, it bleeds away the true understanding of what the problem really is,” says Joe Jacobs.
Police in Virginia Beach charged Henry with fraud, and Chesapeake detectives tell us they’ve opened their own investigation.
Henry was planning a walk in late April from Hampton to Arlington. He said it’s an effort to raise money to help veterans.
We asked him if there was anything he wanted to say about the accusations against him.
“No. Other than any money that’s raised is going back into those organizations to help other veterans,” he replied.
But now those organizations are turning their backs on him and said they hope he gets the help he needs.
In April, we also learned that Virginia Beach Police were called back to Henry’s apartment. We know Henry bonded out of jail for the fraud charges.
Dispatchers said his girlfriend called 911 saying he was threatening to harm himself. Police would not confirm his identity or confirm that he had hurt himself.
They said officers convinced him to come out of the house.
Henry is expected back in court on September 15th.