Mansfield man gets prison for stealing $144,000 from veterans’ funds to watch porn

A Mansfield man last Friday was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison by the Vernon Superior Court for stealing $144,000 in total from two veterans groups, American Legion and VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars), where he was working as a treasurer. He apparently spent $96,000 of the above-stolen money on internet webcam pornography over a period of three years.

Frederick Brown, 72, was also ordered by Vernon Superior Court Judge Vernon Oliver to serve five years of probation after his release from prison and pay back the stolen money in monthly installments.

Brown said he “got sucked” into viewing live online pornography websites in which women became more provocative when viewers tipped more online tokens, according to the local media. Police determined that Brown paid $32,000 in 232 payments to a company that handles secure transactions for a website hosting webcam pornography. He was arrested by the state police on December 3, 2015.

“Mr. Brown said that he basically got ‘sucked in’ and continued to do it because it was fun,” according to a warrant. “Mr. Brown stopped… buying tokens in September 2014 because he started running out of money, and he was worried that someone else in the post would find out.”

Brown pleaded guilty in October to first-degree larceny in the theft of $143,000 from Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 938 in Willington and to third-degree larceny in the theft of $12,300 from the American Legion Post 14 in Vernon.

State police started investigating in 2014 after a donation check from the VFW bounced. Brown was Post 938’s treasurer and formerly the Legion’s finance officer.

Defense lawyer Brendan Putman spoke about how Brown’s during his seven years in military service flew B-52 bombers and was awarded various medals. He also talked about Brown’s failing health, stating Brown was in need of a heart transplant, has chronic liver failure, and suffers from diabetes, and such health issues cannot be cared for in prison. Therefore, he urged that Brown be ordered to serve house arrest, and only be able to leave for medical appointments.

Brown apologized for his actions in the court, acknowledging that what he did was wrong and that he needed to be punished.

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