A Navy Reserve recruiter and wannabe country music star has been charged with wearing the Distinguished Flying Cross and another award he didn't earn, and lying about them to investigators.
A former sailor will spend more than seven years in prison for fraudulently obtaining $181,000 from a credit union.
His own brother calls him a fraud. The Marine Corps has no record of him. His war stories don't add up, and his "war photos" are blurry images of partially hidden faces.
An 18-year-old Marine wannabe, who was smoked out as a fake gunnery sergeant by vigilant Marines more than a year ago, is allegedly at it again.
NEW ORLEANS — A Louisiana State University student has been charged with falsely claiming he was awarded the Purple Heart and with wearing military medals without authorization.
HOUSTON — A Houston-area man has quit as a post-traumatic stress counselor for veterans after records do not back his claim of earning numerous war medals.
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A Martinsburg man who never served in the military has been charged with faking an Army service record and fraudulently collecting more than $97,000 in benefits.
BALTIMORE — A Millersville man has been sentenced to 21 months in prison for using lies about life as an Army Green Beret and his education to get jobs teaching counterterrorism and drug and human trafficking interdiction.
WALTHAM, Mass. — A Lowell man on his way to participate in a Toys for Tot event has been arrested and accused of impersonating a Marine.
The National Guard says it has no records for three war medals claimed by a former Cape Coral, Fla., police officer who recently resigned when it was learned he faked his GED.
GREENWICH, Conn. — A Connecticut man who posed as a wounded soldier has been spared jail but is forbidden from leaving his home on Veterans Day and Memorial Day.
ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Army veteran Terry Calandra felt he deserved higher military honors than the Purple Hearts he received for being wounded in combat in Vietnam.
SHELBY, N.C. — There are red faces among the smiles after a record-breaking North Carolina baseball tournament discovered a speaker wasn't the decorated combat veteran he claimed to be.
If his claims had been true, Jeff "Rock" Harris would have been one of the most highly decorated Americans since the Vietnam War.
NEW YORK — Police say a Long Island man is accused of posing as a soldier so he could be bumped to first class on a flight to Kennedy International Airport.
TUCSON, Ariz. — A Tucson man who authorities say faked his way onto Fort Huachuca by pretending to be an Air Force officer has been charged with various federal offenses.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A man facing charges that he falsely claimed to be an Army Ranger wounded during four tours of duty in Afghanistan has apologized.
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Navy SEALs are popular after the raid on Osama bin Laden's hide out in Pakistan, so imagine the patriotic pride when a man in a SEALs uniform showed up at a California school for a "Thank You Soldiers" tribute.
CLEVELAND — Documents show a man charged in Ohio with trying to land a six-figure job by faking it as a two-star Army general has misrepresented his background in the past.
GREENVILLE, N.C. — A man accused of lying about Vietnam-era combat and collecting $30,000 in compensation has been convicted in federal court in North Carolina.
An attorney in western New York has apologized for touting his client as a decorated war hero when in fact the former Marine he defended on reckless endangerment charges lied about his military exploits.
BALTIMORE — A Millersville man has pleaded guilty to wire fraud in a scheme to lie about his military experience and academic credentials to get jobs as a teacher and trainer, federal prosecutors said.
The veteran in the photo had four stripes on his sleeve, the crimson beret of a combat controller cocked jauntily to one side of his head and rows of ribbons on his chest.
NORFOLK, Va. — A veteran sailor accused of publicly embellishing his service record on the eve of his scheduled 2009 retirement pleaded guilty at a Feb. 3 summary court-martial to making a false official statement and two counts of wrongfully wearing official appurtenances.
SAN DIEGO — It was a story that captured the attention of the crowd: A Navy SEAL wounded in an attack managed to cut down insurgents who had killed his three teammates when their post was overrun in Afghanistan.
Lecturer William G. Hillar inspired his audience with what he said was his life story: He had tried to rescue his daughter from human traffickers and inspired the hit movie "Taken." He was a retired Green Beret colonel and counterterrorism expert, he said. According to prosecutors, it was not his really his life, it was lies.
BILLINGS, Mont. — A Montana Highway Patrol investigation found that a Livingston-based trooper who resigned last month rather than being fired had lied about his previous work and military experience during numerous conversations with co-workers and in applying for a promotion in 2007.
When Skyler Whalen appeared on social networking sites last fall wearing a wrinkled Marine Corps uniform decorated with unearned medals, he unleashed the wrath of vigilant, faker-finding Marines.
To Sgt. Louis Brandwein, something about the "ridiculously obese" man in ACUs at the gun show looked off. He wore a nonregulation MOLLE belt, Special Forces qualification tabs on both shoulders and a rare Combat Infantryman Badge with two stars.
KENTWOOD, Mich. — Authorities say a man accused of impersonating a Marine in suburban Detroit in 2009 has been charged with doing the same in southwestern Michigan.
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — The Internet dating Lothario who romanced women with tales that he was a multimillionaire Navy admiral who commanded armed forces in Iraq now must repay his victims with earnings from his current job — at a gas station.
Authorities say a MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., airman approached a woman, told her he was a CIA officer and said he was looking for a terrorism suspect. But Senior Airman Derek Martin is no James Bond.
FORT WORTH, Tx. — A Texas man with no military experience tricked the Army into letting him enter a reserve unit as a noncommissioned officer earlier this year, a deception that placed an untrained soldier in a leadership position in a time of war.
Second Lt. Douglas Sofranko has spent the last year impressing his fellow soldiers in the Florida Army National Guard with stories of his days as a Navy SEAL, the problem is that it's all a lie.
COLLEGE STATION, Tx. — Alexander Kemos, Texas A&M administrator resigned his post in June after falsely claiming he had been a Navy SEAL. An investigation by a central Texas newspaper found that had never served in the military.
CANTON, Ga. — A Cherokee County Commissioner doesn't plan to resign after he acknowledged fudging his military and education background.
John Thomas Tullis regaled acquaintances for decades with his escapades as an Air Force officer. He flew fighters, he told San Diego's black-tie crowd, and proudly wore what appeared to be the Air Force Cross, the Silver Star and the Purple Heart on his dress uniform.
On a routine official visit to meet with foreign military commanders in the southern Ecuador city of Cuenca in late April, Army Col. Robert Gaddis and his team of U.S. liaison officers met a man who introduced himself as retired Marine Corps Lt. Gen. James A. Becker.
WILMINGTON, N.C. — A man who pleaded guilty last year to altering an identification card after he was spotted in the uniform of a three-star Marine general has been charged again with posing as a highly decorated Marine officer.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A Marshall County man accused of wearing military medals he didn't earn and illegally possessing firearms has pleaded guilty in a Birmingham court.
LOS ANGELES — A California man who posed as a military officer and sought donations that he claimed would help wounded veterans pleaded guilty Monday to federal fraud charges in the scam, federal prosecutors said.
GREENBELT, Md. — A 39-year-old Columbia man has been sentenced to 10 days in jail for purchasing and wearing military uniforms and decorations, even though he is not in the military.
A Palm Springs man was sentenced to a year of probation Monday and ordered to undergo mental health counseling for impersonating a Marine and wearing medals he never earned.
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — A 26-year-old man accused of wearing military medals he didn't earn is due in federal court in Huntsville on Thursday for arraignment.
A retired Coast Guard chief warrant officer 2 who claimed to be a decorated and combat-hardened SEAL — and managed to get a disability rating from the government — has pleaded guilty to wearing combat awards he did not earn.
Jeffrey Sparenberg looked every bit the hero. His chest candy included a Bronze Star with "V," Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal and Combat Action Ribbon. A newspaper photo showed him holding a flag he claimed had flown on the destroyer Cole during and after the Oct. 12, 2000, suicide bomber attack in Aden, Yemen.
Kenneth Jerome Nelson was once celebrated as a war hero and the unofficial caretaker of a monument dedicated to Vietnam veterans in the shadow of the California State Capitol.
A former Marine corporal and police officer has avoided jail time after pretending to be a war hero, but he will never serve in law enforcement again and must serve 200 hours of community service and 12 months of probation, authorities said.
CAMDEN, N.J. — An official in New Jersey's Military and Veterans Affairs Department has admitted he falsely claimed a heroic record in the Vietnam War as a paratrooper and artilleryman.
RAMONA, Calif. — Among the small crowd of military veterans and Marines, the two-star general stood out. At the Ramona VFW's annual Marine Corps birthday celebration Nov. 7, David Weber was treated as the honored guest, receiving the first piece of the birthday cake in accordance with tradition.
U.S. authorities have charged an admitted military faker exposed by Colorado veterans this spring for lying about being a Marine captain who served three tours in Iraq, was wounded in combat and survived the 9/11 terror attack on the Pentagon.
PADUCAH, Ky. — Police in a western Kentucky city have arrested an Illinois man on a theft charge after he allegedly impersonated a Marine to try to solicit money.
Donald Laisure Sr. has a biography that could wow nearly anyone. The retired four-star general earned the Navy Cross, the Silver Star and an Air Medal in a 54-year career that included service in Vietnam, Panama and the Persian Gulf War, according to his profile in the 2009 Marine Corps Association Directory.
PHOENIX — A man has been accused of pretending to be a highly decorated Marine by wearing a uniform with ribbons representing prestigious military honors, authorities said Thursday.
CARBONDALE, Ill. — An administrator at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale who is accused of lying about his military record will retire next month.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Florida veteran has pleaded guilty to falsely claiming four Purple Hearts, when he had none.
ERIE, Pa. — A Pennsylvania car dealer is getting two years and nine months in federal prison for faking military honors and cashing more than $200,000 in counterfeit checks.
SAN ANTONIO — An Army veteran sentenced to probation for fabricating a dazzling military career will not face additional felony charges for the benefits he allegedly received based on false claims, according to a newspaper report.
Whether Robert White was injured in Iraq in 2005 and deserved a Purple Heart makes no difference now. The chief hospital corpsman wore the award without receiving it through official channels, and in the Navy's eyes, that makes him a faker.
SEATTLE — A 57-year-old Sumner man pleaded guilty in federal court in Tacoma to making false claims of military medals and decorations.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A Middletown, Del., man has pleaded guilty to impersonating a Navy rear admiral.
When Andy Jerome Ticker got married in April, he wore a full-dress captain's uniform strewn with medals, including a Navy Cross, Silver Star and Purple Heart.
CROSSVILLE, Tenn. — A California teen has been arrested and charged with criminal impersonation in eastern Tennessee for allegedly fooling businesses into thinking he was an airman to get discounts and other perks.
NORTH EAST, Pa. — A Pennsylvania man has pleaded guilty to faking his military record, and to cashing more than $188,000 in counterfeit checks at a federal credit union.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Police have arrested a Marion man they say was impersonating a National Guard member inside of the flood zone in Cedar Rapids.
SACRAMENTO — An Oroville man has pleaded guilty to falsely representing himself as a decorated military hero from the Vietnam War.
It was a novel argument: freedom of speech protects falsely claiming an award of the Medal of Honor. It didn't work. And on Monday, Xavier Alvarez of Pomona, Calif., pleaded guilty to violating the 2005 Stolen Valor Act.
WICHITA, Kan. — A Wichita man pleads guilty to falsely claiming he had a Purple Heart.
NEW YORK — A Vietnam veteran who acknowledged wearing military medals he never earned has been sentenced to 100 hours of community service.
GULFPORT, Miss. — A Gulfport man has been arrested and charged with making false claims about earning military decorations and medals.
MUSKOGEE, Okla. — A man who went to prison for impersonating an Army captain after the 2002 Interstate 40 bridge collapse is heading back to prison.
ROANOKE, Va. — A Roanoke man faces up to 35 years in prison after a federal jury found him guilty of fabricating a career in the Army.
NORFOLK, Va. — On Feb. 5, Chief Culinary Specialist (SS) Brian James was at his home on leave from duty at his recruiting station just outside Utica, N.Y., when his work cell phone rang.
A U.S. District Court judge sentenced Army Reserve Maj. Anthony Angelo Calderone on Tuesday to five months in prison for lying about his Army achievements and awards — including his bogus claim a Silver Star for heroism in battle — so he could get promoted faster.
BOSTON — A former member of the Lawrence school committee has pleaded guilty to charges of faking his military record.
LOS ANGELES — Federal prosecutors say an additional charge is being filed against a Pomona water board member who allegedly lied about being a Medal of Honor recipient.
REDLANDS, Calif. — A Loma Linda man walking to Sacramento to dramatize an effort to get the POW/MIA flag flown year-round on state buildings lied about serving in the Marine Corps.
ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey — The mayor of the gambling resort of Atlantic City resigned Wednesday after a two-week absence from office during which he checked himself into a rehabilitation clinic.
Five individuals have been indentified as falsifying their military background.
As he watched former Marine Preston Garris stand before the North Carolina General Assembly and receive accolades from state lawmakers at a ceremony for Silver Star recipients, former Marine Bill Carr decided he couldn’t keep quiet anymore.
TOPEKA, Kan. — Sentencing has been scheduled for next month for a 27-year-old Topeka man who pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining a Purple Heart license tag for his car.
SEATTLE — A 71-year-old man who claimed to be a decorated Korean War veteran pleaded guilty Friday in federal court to lying about his military service to get benefits and to wearing military medals he did not earn.
Courtney Hopkins, a former Marine, first met Reggie Buddle in 2004 at his home, where he presided over a wedding for a leatherneck who had just finished boot camp.
TACOMA, Wash. — A Puyallup man who posed as a decorated Marine Corps captain for two years will tend graves at the Tahoma Military Cemetery in Kent as part of 500 hours of community service, a federal judge has decided.
SEATTLE — A man who tried to position himself as a leader of the anti-war movement by claiming to have participated in war crimes while serving in Iraq is facing federal charges of falsifying his record.
ST. LOUIS — A St. Louis man who posed as a Marine and wore military medals not awarded to him was sentenced to two years of probation Tuesday on a federal charge.
TACOMA, Wash. — A Puyallup man who once gave the opening prayer for the Washington state Senate while posing as a Marine Corps captain admitted in court April 5 that he was a fake.