I don't know the guy, but the letter comes across as genuine and honest. Wherever you come down, that's a lot to chew on.
as paul harvey used to say: "and now you know, the rest of the story". a stink-bomb all the way around i would say.
As Lamont would say, "Don't take free money from the government". Ever.
Steeling from citizens IS illegal...so the government will do as much as they can.