Ex-staffer for Utah congressman pleads not guilty

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A former Utah staffer for U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz has pleaded not guilty to lying about being injured in the Iraq War to collect disability benefits.

Court records show that 49-year-old Gilbert Prado, who landed his job on the Chaffetz staff through the Wounded Warrior Project, entered his plea Monday.

Prosecutors last month filed a 15-count indictment against Prado for wire fraud and making false statements. The West Valley City man is accused of wrongfully telling Veterans Affairs officials that he had been hurt during an explosion in Iraq in 2006.

Prosecutors say Prado received monthly disability payments from August 2011 to March 2012 totaling $18,000.

Chaffetz says his office became concerned about the authenticity of Prado's story and referred the case to federal authorities.

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