Showing posts with label Stolen Valor Act. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stolen Valor Act. Show all posts

Friday, May 15, 2020

Stolen Valor: Phony Marine hit by $1.7 million judgment

Veteran Duped by Phony Marine Awarded $1.7 Million in Stolen Valor Case
By Patricia Kime
14 May 2020

"The District Court was provided with proof that Mr. Shannon had fabricated many of the newly produced 'Top Secret' redacted documents in his 'VA file' ... and was presented with proof that Mr. Shannon had forged what he claimed was his DD214," an appellee brief to the Montana Supreme Court states.

A man holds an Eagle, Globe and Anchor pin in his hand.
(Photo: U.S. Marine Corps/Cpl. Timothy Lenzo)

Montana's highest court has upheld a judgment against a Lynchburg, Virginia, man who solicited at least one investor in his business dealings by claiming to have been a U.S. Marine.

The Montana Supreme Court last month upheld a lower court's decision ordering Laron Shannon, formerly of Kalispell, Montana, to pay $1.7 million in damages to Donald Kaltschmidt, of Whitefish. Kaltschmidt, according to the court, gave Shannon $250,000 to invest in a company Shannon said would hire veterans to clean oil rigs in eastern Montana and North Dakota.

But Shannon, who often wore Marine apparel such as caps and knit shirts with the Eagle, Globe and Anchor and portrayed himself as a former Marine officer, never served on active duty as a commissioned Marine, according to court documents. When asked early during the court proceedings to produce a DD-214 record of service document, he did not immediately produce it.

read it here

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

James Craig “Doc” Glynn, Stolen Valor spoke at Cape Canaveral National Cemetery

Combating Stolen Valor: Why this disservice to veterans remains an ongoing problem

Florida Today
By John McCarthy
March 4, 2020
In a 2014 FLORIDA TODAY story about Port St. John veteran Melvin Morris being awarded the Medal of Honor, Glynn was quoted as having been with Morris in Vietnam on the mission that earned him the medal. Glynn’s military records show he was in basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky at the time.

In Florida, it is a felony to falsely claim military service while soliciting for charitable contributions or for the purpose of material gain.

During a ceremony at Cape Canaveral National Cemetery last March honoring Vietnam veterans, a Vietnam veteran with an impressive military record delivered the invocation.

James Craig “Doc” Glynn was introduced as a retired Green Beret medic and Army master sergeant who served in Vietnam and later in Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan. The audience was told Glynn was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, two Silver Stars, 10 Bronze Stars and nine Purple Hearts, among other military commendations.

Glynn did serve in Vietnam as a medic, but the rest is not true. His military service ended in 1972, and the years since have included prison time for fraud and forgery.

Military veterans have a term for lying about military service as Glynn has done: Stolen Valor.
read it here

Monday, February 3, 2020

Stolen Valor: AWOL after boot camp, faker charged with stealing from American Legion

Man Headed to Trial for Stolen Valor

WNEP ABC 16 News
FEBRUARY 3, 2020
Crawford’s DD 214 discharge form would have shown that he went AWOL after a few months of Army boot camp in 2007.

Instead, Crawford told members at the American Legion that he was an Iraq war veteran injured in an IED explosion.
SCRANTON, Pa. — A man from Scranton will stand trial for impersonating a veteran.

Prosecutors say while Christopher Crawford was lying about his military record, he was stealing money from the American Legion in the city where he was a member.

Crawford was serving as an officer at American Legion Post 568 in the Minooka section of Scranton. Last summer, his fellow officers reported Crawford for allegedly stealing $16,000 from the organization. That’s when it was also discovered that Crawford was not a veteran at all.

The veterans we spoke say between those two sets of charges, it’s the stolen valor, not the stolen money, that hurts most.
read it here

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Stolen Valor: Gregg Ramsdell, 61, of Columbus, Ga faked PTSD for benefits...and job

Army veteran faces federal prison time, fines for Stolen Valor and lying about PTSD

Army Times
Todd South
January 14, 2020
Ramsdell later admitted to FBI investigators that he lied about having PTSD at all.

The Stolen Valor Act of 2013 makes it a criminal offense for individuals to falsely claim military status and awards to claim service-connected benefits. (Arsenis Spyros)
An Army veteran faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine in a March sentencing hearing after pleading guilty to lying about a fake tour in Afghanistan and Purple Heart and Silver Star Medals he didn’t earn.

Gregg Ramsdell, 61, of Columbus, Ga. pleaded guilty in early December to one count of false statements and one count of violation of the Stolen Valor Act. He’s scheduled for sentencing on March 23.

In 2014, Ramsdell claimed to officials with the Department of Veterans Affairs that he “witnessed horrible atrocities” while deployed to Afghanistan from October 2008 to March 2009, according to court records.
The investigation also found that Ramsdell had listed both the Purple Heart with Cluster and the Silver Star Medal on his application for a civilian job at Fort Benning, Georgia in 2017.

He got the job of logistics management specialist with a base salary of $53,137.
read it here

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Stolen Valor: Air Force veteran convicted for PTSD and wounds that did not happen

Air Force veteran sentenced for fake PTSD, Purple Heart claims

Fayetteville Observer
By Rachael Riley
Staff writer
Posted Dec 21, 2019
Officials with the U.S. Attorney’s office said the VA Office of the Inspector General reviewed Winquist’s service records and interviewed fellow service members, which showed that the incident he claimed happened did not occur. Officials said Winquist deployed to Iraq for one month and was assigned as a firefighter to the base.

He received VA compensation for a false claim.
The claim read like countless Veterans Affairs claims and Purple Heart awards.

In 2014, Air Force Veteran Bryan Paul Winquist, now 39, submitted paperwork to the VA seeking compensation related to what he said was post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of a 2003 improvised explosive device attack in Balad, Iraq.

The claim detailed that Winquist was shot in the left shoulder during a small arms firefight, which lasted between 25 to 45 minutes and caused two casualties and four injuries.

Except there was no firefight, and Winquist was not injured or involved in an attack, VA investigators wrote in legal documents three years after the claim and $37,500 in VA disability compensation later.

U.S. Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. announced Winquist’s sentence for the false claims earlier this month.
read it here

Friday, December 6, 2019

Columbus veteran admits to Stolen Valor...for PTSD VA Comp and Job

VA paid Columbus veteran $76,000 for PTSD from war events. He admits he made it up.

Ledger Examiner
DECEMBER 06, 2019

“Faking serious wartime injuries to gain undeserved benefit, and claiming valor where there is none, do a disservice to our brave veterans and service members who selflessly risk their lives protecting this country,” said U.S. Attorney Charlie Peeler in a statement.

A Columbus military veteran accused of stolen valor and lying about a combat-induced mental health condition to receive disability payments pleaded guilty to multiple charges in federal court.

Gregg Ramsdell, 61, entered a guilty plea to one count of false statements and one count of violation of the Stolen Valor Act. Ramsdell was indicted on those charges in August.

The Stolen Valor Act makes it illegal for people to claim to be war heroes in order to gain money, employment, property or other tangible benefits, according to court documents and a news release from the United States Attorney’s office for the Middle District of Georgia.
read it here

Monday, September 9, 2019

Florida veteran not disabled, "ordered to pay $243,243.05 in restitution"

Veteran ordered to pay back thousands in VA benefits

by Auriette Lindsey
September 3rd 2019

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WEAR-TV) — A veteran from Santa Rosa County has been sentenced to three years probation and must pay thousands of dollars in restitution.

The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, Lawrence Keefe, announced the sentence on Tuesday.

46-year-old Bryan S. Gaines of Milton pleaded guilty to theft of government money and making false statements.

Between 2011 and 2018, he falsely reported to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that he was not working and unable to work.

He received disability benefits based on those claims.
A federal judge ordered Bryan Gaines of Milton to repay $243,243.05 in restitution after he pleaded guilty to making false statements. (Image: MGN)

Keefe said, "Stealing from the VA is tantamount to stealing from each of the brave men and women who have served our nation in times of war and times of peace."

Gaines was ordered to pay $243,243.05 in restitution.
read it here

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Stolen Valor fraud ripped off over $2 million from women

FBI: Fraudster posing as petty officer helped fleece females for $2.1 million

By: Navy Times staff
September 6, 2019 
A probable cause affidavit filed by Special Agent Dean J. DiPietro, a member of the FBI’s White Collar Crime squad in Atlantic City, estimates that Sarpong and the other three people netted at least $2.1 million in the scams over the past 3 ½ years.
Rubbin Sarpong never was a U.S. Navy petty officer stationed in Canada or Syria who needed a little cash to come home to his loved one.

Although one victim sent him $50,000 in a series of wire transfers dating back to early 2016, according to court documents, Sarpong really was laundering her money, stashing it in bank accounts or doling it out to co-conspirators on two continents to further what authorities say is an ongoing swindle that preys on lonely hearts with a crush on military men.
Federal prosecutors say that Rubbin Sarpong on March 2, 2017, posted a photograph of himself on social media accounts, holding a large stack of cash to his ear like a mobile phone, with a caption reading "WakeUp with 100K... OneTime. Making A phone Call To Let My Bank Know Am Coming;" (U.S District Court for the District of New Jersey)

Sarpong’s alleged scheme was outlined in a 27-page federal indictment unsealed Wednesday in Camden, New Jersey. It paints him as a grifter living in the south New Jersey town of Millville, with tentacles that reached out to at least 30 victims and three co-conspirators in the U.S. and the West African nation of Ghana.

Federal court records reveal that Sarpong was arrested Wednesday, a day after being charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
read it here

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Police Chief accused of not being a Marine even once?

Wisner police chief’s military record called into question

Norfolk Daily News
May 18, 2019

WISNER — The future of a Northeast Nebraska town’s police chief appears to be in doubt following a social media post that recently went viral on area military pages.

Wisner Police Chief Jeffery Treu’s claims of a military career were called into question after a letter from the National Personnel Records Center was posted on Facebook.

The Daily News obtained a hard copy of the letter from Ryan Smith, a deputy with the Howard County Sheriff’s Department and a retired Navy chief petty officer.

Smith had filed a Freedom of Information Request from the records center after being told by other area law enforcement officers that Treu may have fabricated his military career.

The letter from the records center — sent and signed by archives technician John Welsch — says this in regards to a search for Treu’s military history: “We have conducted extensive searches of very records source and alternate records source at this Center; however, we have been unable to locate any information that would help us verify the veteran’s military service.”
read more here

Friday, February 15, 2019

Fort Bragg Stolen Valor within CID?

Agent involved in Army officer's murder case charged with lying about earning a Purple Heart

The Washington Post
Published: February 14, 2019
The charges, if proved, amount to what U.S. troops refer to as “stolen valor,” when service members claim details about their military service that are not true in ways that benefit them. Delacruz has been suspended from his duties since the allegations came to light late last year, Castro said.

A special agent with U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command faces criminal charges after allegedly lying about his military service, Army officials said Thursday, complicating a case he was assigned in which a former Green Beret officer has been charged with murder.
Matthew L. Golsteyn, a former Special Forces officer who is being investigated for alleged war crimes committed in Afghanistan, in his Washington office with his wife, Julie, and their 4-month-old son Henry. (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)
Army Sgt. 1st Class Mark Delacruz, who is assigned to the Army CID office at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, was charged with the unauthorized wear of a Purple Heart, Air Assault Badge, Pathfinder Badge and Combat Action Badge and is accused of submitting a package to an Army promotion board that stated he earned a Purple Heart when he did not, said Jeffrey Castro, an Army spokesman. The Purple Heart is awarded to U.S. service members who have been wounded or killed in combat.

The charges, if proven, amount to what U.S. troops refer to as "stolen valor," when service members claim details about their military service that are not true in ways that benefit them. Delacruz has been suspended from his duties since the allegations came to light in late 2018, Castro said.

The accusations, first reported by NBC News on Thursday, complicate the case of Army Maj. Mathew Golsteyn, who is accused of premeditated murder in connection with the death of a man in Afghanistan in 2010. Golsteyn, 38, was charged in December following an on-and-off investigation that dates back to 2011, when the former Green Beret officer acknowledged killing an unarmed man that he believed to be a Taliban bomb maker during a job interview with the CIA.
read more here

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Stolen Valor Marine Dishonored Disabled Marines

Man raised money to send Marine families to Disney. He pocketed most of it, feds say

Charlotte Observer
Charles Duncan
January 11, 2019

Simpson raised about $481,000 for the charity, but spent only about $90,000 of that actually helping Marines, the feds charge.
A charity raised funds to send Marines and their families to Disney theme parks, but its founder John Simpson pocketed most of the money for himself, according to a federal indictment filed this week in South Carolina.

Simpson raised about $481,000 for the charity, but spent only about $90,000 of that actually helping Marines, the feds charge. The other $391,000 went to enriching himself, paying off his mortgage and bills, and for his then-wife’s “adult novelty business, Red Room Toys,” according to court filings.

Sherri Lydon, the U.S. Attorney in Charleston, South Carolina, accuses Simpson of lying about his military career to raise money. The indictment states he “falsely represented himself as a retired career marine with as much as 20 years of service, a retired Master Sergeant, a former Drill Instructor, and a Recon Marine.”
In fact, according to the court filing, Simpson served less than five years in the Marine Corps and was given a bad conduct discharge after going absent without leave in 1998.
read more here

Friday, December 14, 2018

Man going to jail after stealing veteran's ID...and benefits

Mississippi man gets 3 years for stealing veteran's ID

Published: December 14, 2018
Prosecutors say Bush used the name, Social Security number and other identifiers of the veteran to receive narcotics, medical care, medical equipment and housing help from the VA Department between 2005 and 2018.
JACKSON, Miss. — A Mississippi man has been sentenced to three years in prison for stealing the identity of a U.S. military veteran and using it to get more than $130,000 in benefits.

News outlets reported Senior U.S. District Judge Tom S. Lee on Thursday also ordered 56-year-old Tierun Bush of Jackson to pay full restitution to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
read more here

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Con-combat veteran Marine nabbed by honorable one

Man's tip led to arrest of US Marine accused of posing as decorated combat veteran

Al Pefley
November 27, 2018
Finally, he got Haerlin’s military records that show although he was in fact a Marine, Haerlin never served in combat and he was discharged “under other than honorable conditions.”

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (CBS12) — A Port St. Lucie man is accused of posing as a decorated combat U.S. Marine veteran who served overseas.

This case started a few months ago, when sheriff’s detectives got a tip.

The tip came from a real U.S. Marine veteran who says he had information that bothered him so much, he had to go to law enforcement.

“It is a shame, in every sense of the word. It’s a shame,” said Robin Barker, a Port St. Lucie resident.

Barker spent two years in the Marine Corps in the 1970’s.

He’s the man who went to the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office and provided a tip that led to the arrest this week of 56-year-old Cary Haerlin.

“When I realized over a period of time that he was a master at deception, I wasn’t gonna let it go,” he said.
read more here

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Actor cut off own hand, to be disabled veteran?

Better Call Saul Actor Reveals He Cut Off His Own Arm, Lied About Being War Veteran to Land Roles

November 01, 2018

Better Call Saul actor Todd LaTourrette is coming clean about his acting career.
During a recent interview with KOB4, LaTourrette admitted to cutting off his right arm nearly 20 years ago while he was off medications that he claims treat his bipolar disorder.

“I severed my hand with a Skil saw,” LaTourrette explained to the outlet. “The state of mind was a psychotic episode.”

Following the near fatal incident, the actor revealed he began getting acting jobs as a war veteran after lying about being injured while serving overseas.

While the lie helped him land his 2018 role as Skell on Better Call Saul, as well parts on the TV shows Manhattan (2015), Longmire (2014), A Bird of the Air (2011) and The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009), it has also brought him a lot of guilt.
read more here

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Stolen Valor--giving fakes the attention they did not want!

They called the police on these guys and that is the best way to stop them!

Best Stolen Valor Fights 2018! Instant Karma - Instant Justice

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Stolen Valor: Miserable excuse to abuse heroes

Man who pretended to be a decorated veteran sentenced
WPTV Webteam
Tory Dunnan
Jul 27, 2018
"My actions, which I thought were for a good reason. To help my family overall," he said. "I've dishonored myself, my sons, my daughters, my family, my country, and veterans everywhere. For that, I am truly sorry," said Liroff who could barely get through a prepared statement.
ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. - ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. - A man in Port St. Lucie who pretended to be a veteran entered a no contest plea in court Friday.

For years, Edward Liroff told stories about his service saying he was shot twice in combat and that he pulled two soldiers out of a burning helicopter.

The ruse unraveled when tried to get a code enforcement job with the city and police say a document he used turned out to be falsified.

In court, a judge credited him with some of the time he has spent behind bars but he still must serve nine more months in jail.

Liroff apologized and said, "this wasn't his brightest moment."
Once he pays back all the money he received from veterans benefits, his one-year probation will be dropped.
read more here

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Stolen Valor: Gulf War at 15 and Iraq when service ended in 1996

UPDATE: After being shocked by the update, I decided to go to the VA website for the answer. Here it is!
Gulf War Service
For VA benefit purposes under 38 CFR 3.317, Gulf War service is active military duty in any of the following areas in the Southwest Asia theater of military operations at any time August 2, 1990 to present. This includes Veterans who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003-2010) and Operation New Dawn (2010-2011).

Southwest Asia theatre of military operations: Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, U.A.E., Oman, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Arabian Sea

Saudi Arabia
The neutral zone between Iraq and Saudi Arabia
The United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.)
Gulf of Aden
Gulf of Oman
Waters of the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea, and the Red Sea
The airspace above these locations
Note: Service in Afghanistan on or after September 19, 2001, is considered qualifying service for disability benefits associated with certain presumptive diseases.

Really odd followup to this story boils down to no one officially ended the Gulf War!
“More than 650,000 Service members served in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm from August 2, 1990 to July 31, 1991. For VA benefits eligibility purposes, the Gulf War period is still in effect,” the VA website states. “This means that anyone who served on active duty from August 2, 1990, to present is considered a Gulf War Veteran. For example, the Veterans Pension benefit requires service during a wartime period. Therefore, any Veteran who served on active military service for any period from August 2, 1990, to the present meets the wartime service requirement.”
This was reported on the Bradenton Herald along with this part.
“Even those of us who served in Operation Desert Storm were told that ‘the war was over’ when it fact there was only a cease fire declared, and no official end to the war has been declared as of this date, and all veterans who served from Aug. 2, 1990 until a date yet to be declared are Gulf War veterans.”

Holmes Beach mayoral candidate falsely claims he’s a veteran of first Gulf War. He was 15
Bradenton Herald
Mark Young
July 25, 2018

Holmes Beach mayoral candidate Joshua Linney claims in his campaign biography that he served with the U.S. Army in Iraq and that he is a veteran of the first Gulf War.
Holmes Beach mayoral candidate Joshua Linney claims he misspoke in misrepresenting his military service. Provided photo

“I’m a Gulf War veteran whose worked to overcome war, trauma, alcoholism, chemical dependence and PTSD, while living with disabilities, and I conquered them all,” Linney, 42, wrote in a biography submitted to the Manatee County supervisor of elections office and posted on the agency’s website

However, Linney was never in Iraq, according to his discharge papers. And as for his claim to being a Gulf War veteran, the war was fought in January-February 1991, when Linney was 15.
When he was 18, Linney enlisted in the Army in September 1993 and was medically discharged in August 1996, after he fell off a building and suffered a traumatic brain injury for which he receives disability benefits, according to his discharge papers.
read more here

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Stolen Valor: 83 year old civilian collected VA disability benefits

Pensacola man pleads guilty in VA theft case
North West Florida Daily News
By staff reports
Posted Jul 11, 2018
Additionally, Kohl received health care treatment and benefits totaling more than $45,000, and he also was able to stay in a VA vision rehabilitation facility at a cost of more than $63,000, according to court records.

PENSACOLA — An elderly Pensacola man who fraudulently claimed to have served with the Marines in the Korean War has pleaded guilty to theft of government funds by filing false benefit claims with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Between February 2005 and February 2018, 83-year-old Richard E. Kohl received VA benefit payments and services totaling nearly $220,000, according to a news release from the office of Christopher P. Canova, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

Documents introduced at the time of the guilty plea indicated that at some point prior to July 3, 1996, Kohl created and signed a fictitious Form DD-214, a certificate of release or discharge from military service. The faked DD-214 claimed that Kohl served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean War and was discharged on Dec. 20, 1961.

Kohl never served in any branch of the U.S. military, but used the falsified Form DD-214 as proof of military service to obtain veterans’ benefits he was not entitled to receive. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for Sept. 19.
read more here

Friday, June 29, 2018

Fake Marine-PTSD Pastor and Serial Killer Buddy?

Fake Marine gave serial killer suspect a home. Now he's accused of bilking man of RV park
Mississippi Clarion Ledger
Jerry Mitchell
Published June 29, 2018

CANYON LAKE, Texas — A fake Marine who gave Mississippi native and convicted killer Felix Vail a home is now accused of using a Christian charity to bilk a man of an RV park.
David Thomason was so close with convicted murderer Felix Vail that he gave him property in Canyon Lake, Texas. And there is one thing he has in common with Vail: each had a wife reported to have drowned in an accident.
(Photo: File photo)

David Thomason portrays himself as a heroic Marine and a generous pastor who aids veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder with his Tree of Light Ministries.

In reality, he is a mail-order minister with no record of serving in the Marines.

A local man here, Bryan Todd Sympson, is now suing Thomason and his wife, saying they tricked him over the past three years into giving their Tree of Light Ministries at least $336,590 in donations, plus an RV park.

It gets more here

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Stolen Valor Fake Vietnam Veteran

He collected nearly $200K posing as a Vietnam vet with 2 Purple Hearts — but he never served
The News and Observer (Tribune News Service)
Published: June 27, 2018

A Charleston, S.C. man collected nearly $200,000 in VA benefits over the past few years while listed as a Navy medic who received two Purple Hearts for his service in Vietnam.
Keith R. Hudson Charleston County Sheriff's Office
But Keith R. Hudson, 70, was never in the military, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina said Wednesday.

“This is a particularly awful type of white collar crime,” U.S. Attorney Sherri Lydon said in a news release. “Veteran health benefits are for those who served our nation in the military. The VA has limited numbers of physicians and resources. There is not much to spare.”

Hudson pleaded guilty in federal court to defrauding the VA of $197,237. He faces up to 10 years in prison.
read more here