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Phony Marine guarding school (UPDATED)

Preston sends us a link to Business Insider who checked out the background of Sgt. Craig Pusley, a marine who the Associated Press and Huffington Post among others featured in an article about how Pusley volunteered to guard a local school in his Marpats.

Well Business Insider found out that Pusley hadn’t even made it out of training during his stint;.....

Charles Austin Vanderburg; phony hero

.....Vanderburg was awarded 18 medals including the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and the Air Force Cross for heroism and a Purple Heart during his 20 years of service in the U.S. Air Force. The war is part of his persona. His medals are on display in his apartment. He wears a hat denoting his Silver Star. ......

Stolen Valor Act , other efforts left out of defense bill
Stars and Stripes
Here's a look at a few of the key items left on the negotiation-room floor: -- A new Stolen Valor Act: Veterans groups were hoping for new legislation making it illegal to falsely claim military honors, to replace the law struck down by the Supreme ...


A form of the amendment survived conference, so the Wauwilermoos internees will receive the POW Medal if the president signs the defense bill.

Excerpt from Conf. Rept. H. Rept. 112-705, p. 326-27:

7 Section 1128 of title 10, United States Code, is
8 amended—
9 (1) in subsection (a)—
10 (A) by inserting or at the end of para
11 graph (2);
12 (B) by striking or at the end of para
13 graph (3) and inserting a period; and
14 (C) by striking paragraph (4);
15 (2) by redesignating subsections (b) through (h)
16 as subsections (c) through (i), respectively; and
17 (3) by inserting after subsection (a) the fol
18 lowing new subsection (b):
19 (b) Under uniform regulations prescribed by the
20 Secretary of Defense, the Secretary concerned may issue
21 a prisoner-of-war medal to any person who, while serving
22 in any capacity with the armed forces, was held captive
23 under circumstances not covered by paragraph (1), (2),
24 or (3) of subsection (a), but which the Secretary concerned
25 finds were comparable to those circumstances under which
1 persons have generally been held captive by enemy armed
2 forces during periods of armed conflict.

Navy Cancels Nativity Over Atheist Complaint:

The Navy directed service members serving in Bahrain to cancel and dismantle a "Live Nativity" after receiving a complaint from a military atheist group who said the manger scene endangered Americans serving in a Muslim country and violated the U.S. Constitution. The "Live Nativity" was a long-standing tradition at NSA Bahrain that featured the children of military personnel dressed as shepherds, wise men, along with Mary and Joseph. It was part of a larger festival that included a tree lighting, Christmas music and photographs with Santa Claus and a camel. But the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers objected to the Nativity and filed a complaint with the Navy's Inspector General. They argued the Nativity promoted "Christianity as the official religion of the base."

Former SEAL helps ferret out fake credentials

Bogus war hero sentenced to 30 months in prison

McClatchy Newspapers
Published: December 12, 2012

KNOXVILLE ­ A veteran who claimed he was a war hero to join prestigious military clubs and dupe two federal agencies out of nearly a half-million dollars in benefits was sentenced today to 30 months in federal prison.

Charles C. Kaczmarczyk, 59, pleaded guilty in August to Social Security fraud, conspiracy to steal public money and two counts of stealing public money. Federal prosecutors said the Air Force veteran, who barely left U.S. shores and never saw a day of combat, swindled the Social Security Administration and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for years......

December 12, 2012

Department of Justice

United States Attorney William C. Killian Eastern District of Tennessee

Knoxville Man Sentenced To 30 Months In Federal Prison For Defrauding U.S. Department Of Veterans Affairs And Social Security Administration

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - On Dec. 12, 2012, Charles C. Kaczmarczyk, 59, of Knoxville, Tenn., was sentenced by the Honorable Thomas W. Phillips, U.S. District Judge, to serve 30 months in federal prison for fraudulently obtaining disability payments from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Social Security Administration.

In addition to the 30-month prison sentence, Kaczmarczyk was ordered to pay $457,986 in restitution to the VA and Social Security Administration.

As part of the scheme, Kaczmarczyk obtained disability payments based on a false claim of combat-related Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Kaczmarczyk supported his false claim of combat-related PTSD by creating counterfeit U.S. Air Force records showing that he had received various medals for his service, including two Purple Hearts and two Silver Stars. During the course of his criminal conduct, Kaczmarczyk repeatedly lied to the VA and Social Security Administration regarding his participation in combat missions as a member of the U.S. Air Force’s Special Operations Group.

U.S. Attorney William C. Killian said, “Those who would dishonor our veterans by perpetrating fraud for personal gain will not be tolerated in the Eastern District of Tennessee. We will work with the Department of Veterans Affairs and others to quickly and decisively prosecute appropriate cases to the fullest extent of the law.”

The investigation was a joint effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, VA Office of Inspector General, Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General, and the U.S. Air Force.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Zachary Bolitho represented the United States.

Florida executes ex-cop for killing 9 in 1986

....Manuel Pardo, 56, was pronounced dead at Florida State Prison at 7:47 p.m., about 16 minutes after the lethal injection process began. His attorneys had tried to block the execution by arguing that he was mentally ill, but federal courts declined to intercede.....

FAKE WARRIORS NOTE: Pardo was listed as a fraud - served in the Navy, USNR and USMCR - 1974-1981.

Hello, my name is Manuel. I am 48 years of age, 5'10'', 165 lbs, brown hair and brown eyes. I am a Spanish male, born in New York City. But my family are all from Spain.

I am a former marine of 15 years, having spent time in Vietnam.

I like to travel, snow ski, all types of music, history and have many more interests.

I seek a nice person to correspond with, preferable a female. But any nice, caring person will be fine. I will be very happy and grateful to have a pen pal from anywhere! I am completely bi-lingual - English - Spanish.

Muchas gracias!


Manuel Pardo
# 111983 P 3212s
Union Correctional Institution
7819 N.W. 228th St.
Raiford, FL 32026
Fake Warriors Note:  Albertson had been listed as a fraud for more than a decade.


New rules in works for handling troops’ remains

By Rick Maze - Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Nov 27, 2012 12:08:30 EST

Transportation of remains of service members who die outside the U.S. would become the responsibility of those troops’ military commands under legislation pending in Congress that seems almost certain to become law.....

Online Romance Scam Help

Links for Reporting a Crime and Support

By Rod Powers, Guide

I get a lot of e-mails from devastated people claiming they have just figured out their online lover, claiming to be deployed in the U.S. Military, took advantage of their kind heart and stole their money. Some foreigners even ask me for an explanation! I wish I could retrieve the funds and see the criminals to justice, but I'm afraid it's just not that simple. That's why I've developed a "How to Report an Online Romance Scam" article. While you may not ever see a dime back of your losses, reporting what you know can help warn others and get a handle on this growing epidemic!
Montana senators help move bill forward
Daily Inter Lake
The US Supreme Court earlier this year struck down the Stolen Valor Act that made ... In the latest twist, the Senate attached the Stolen Valor Act of 2012 ...

... Doug Sterner, a former Kalispell resident whose wife wrote the policy analysis that became the original Stolen Valor Act, said he’s pleased with Congress’ efforts to keep the issue at the forefront.

“It is a very good thing,” Sterner said about the amendment Friday. “It eliminates the need to amend the House Bill [Heck's] or the Senate Bill [Webb’s] to make the two compatible. If the House passes the Defense Authorization Bill ... it becomes law upon signing of the act by the president.”

Sterner called the amendment a “very smart move by the Senate....

Latest hell for ex-U.S. Marine: Chained to bed in Mexican jail
Jon Hammar -
Former U.S. Marine Jon Hammar is in a Matamoros prison in Mexico, charged with bringing an antique shotgun into Mexico. |

Read more here:


A former U.S. soldier and owner of a Texas dry cleaning business who was arrested in October had a cache of weapons, raid gear, and fake CIA credentials,according to a federal search warrant. Police were tipped off to Azeez Al-Ghaziani after someone called to report a damaged vehicle parked behind his business. “When officers arrived, they saw what appeared to be fraudulent military identification cards inside the vehicle,” NBC 5 reports. Federal agents search Al-Ghaziani’s business and found fake IDs, weapons, and a white powder that tested positive for methamphetamine. ....

An apology to Times readers

By Peter Meyer, Publisher
and Paul Pronovost, Editor
December 05, 2012

There is an implied contract between a newspaper and its readers. The paper prints the truth. Readers believe that it's true.

It's not always so simple, of course. There are nuances in how a story is presented, what words are used to describe the action. Papers have personalities, and no two are exactly alike, but at the end of the day, facts are facts. And a good newspaper holds nothing more sacred than its role to tell the truth. Always. As fully and as fairly as possible.

This is our guiding principle, so it is with heavy heart that we tell you the Cape Cod Times has broken that trust. An internal review has found that one of our reporters wrote dozens of stories that included one or more sources who do not exist. ....

....."Contrary to wide perception from TV or the movies, it's not just punch-kick-block," said Partain, who served four tours in Vietnam, including 31 days as a prisoner of war, retired from the Marines as a major. "It's about balance and keeping oneself in control. I learned to control situations rather than let them control me."....

The Town Talk
P.O. BOX 7558
Alexandria, LA 71306

After much delay from higher-ups here, going through corporate legal, etc., we finally ran a correction Nov. 30.

This is a copy:

Corrections: A story titled "Secret gem: Alexandria's Partain traditional karate master," published Monday, Sept. 3, 2012, on Page B1, included factual errors and information that could not be confirmed upon further investigation. The subject of the story was Jerry Partain, 66, of Alexandria.
In an interview with a Town Talk reporter, Partain said he had been a U.S. Marine who served four tours of duty in Vietnam before retiring as a major. Natalie Abbott, an archives technician for the National Personnel Records Center, said she was not able to locate a military service record under that name.
Partain said he had been a prisoner of war for 31 days in Vietnam. That information is disputed by retired Navy Capt. John Michael "Mike" McGrath, a POW in Vietnam for more than five years who is the former president of NAM-POWs and current director and historian of the organization. "No man named Jerry Partain was ever with any of us, the real 66 surviving POWs of the Vietnam War, nor is he known by the Department of Defense in this regard," McGrath told The Town Talk.
Partain said he was a wrestler on the 1964 U.S. Olympic team. The USA Wrestling Federation, which maintains the relevant records, has no record of an athlete by that name being on the 1964 team, according to Gary Abbott, communications director for the organization.
Attempts by the reporter to speak with Partain since the story was published have been unsuccessful.
July 26th, 2010
According to CNN, a Sergeant Major has been busted at Walter Reed. CNN calls Stoney Crump THE Command Sergeant Major of WRAMC, but that’s not true – he’s one of the CSMs.

December 4th, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Wow, today in my TAPS class here walks in SSG (ret) Crump and they introduce him as a former Sergeant Major, he’s teaching soon to retire or separate service members how to interview, write resumes and search for jobs. I guess he’s good at creative writing, I wonder how he got hired by the Department of Labor?

6 questions for Jane Fonda

By Jennifer Bixler, CNN
updated 7:28 AM EST, Tue December 4, 2012

Some of the readers comments are priceless

Gidduck lawsuit tossed, Wittgenfeld and allies hardest hit


And last but not least, this final quote and the dismissal.
The statement that Plaintiff Giduck is a “fraud” and that his credentials are “bullshit” is patently McAleer’s opinion and is not actionable. These types of statements of opinion are protected under the rules enunciated in Milkovich and Burns.

Similarly, the statement that Giduck puffed up or fabricated his credentials and that his certifications are “a joke” is likewise protected opinion. In fact these opinions are certainly far less insulting or potentially damaging than most, if not all, of the statements found privileged in the cases cited above. The statements attributed to these Defendants regarding Giduck were blunt, uncomplimentary, and probably “rhetorical hyperbole.” But they were also privileged statements of opinion protected by the First Amendment as applied in a litany of Supreme Court and Colorado appellate cases.

Here are the court documents in PDF.  giduckdismissal


FBI E-Mail Updates

Shenandoah Man Admits Altering Military Record, Heads to Prison

U.S. Attorney's Office  December 03, 2012
Southern District of Texas(713) 567-9000

HOUSTON - Paul A. Schroeder, 41, of Shenandoah, has been convicted of altering a military or naval discharge certificate and will now be headed to federal prison, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.

Schroeder, former director of counseling for the PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) Foundation of America, was indicted in June 2012 and today admitted he altered his military discharge certificate. As a result, United States District Judge David Hittner ordered he serve 30 days in prison which will be followed by one year of supervised release. Judge Hittner rejected the defense request for probation and further ordered Schroeder pay a fine of $3,000.

According to court records, in April 2009, Schroeder applied for military meritorious service license plates with the Texas Department of Transportation (DOT). In the application, Schroeder certified that during the course of his military service he had been awarded the Silver Star, supporting this claim with a fraudulently altered certificate of release or discharge from active duty purporting to have been issued under authority of the Department of Defense (DOD).

FBI special agents obtained a copy of Schroeder?s service record from the DOD and compared it to the document submitted by Schroeder to Texas DOT. The comparison revealed that besides having never been awarded a Silver Star, Schroeder falsely reported he was the recipient of numerous awards and training from various combat schools. Those false assertions included two Purple Heart awards, three Bronze Star awards, two Meritorious Service Medals, training from Special Forces Assessment and Selection, Army Ranger School, Pathfinder Course, Jumpmaster School, Airborne School, Military Freefall School, and the Combat Dive Qualification Course.

After submitting the fraudulent documentation, Schroeder was issued meritorious service plates which he displayed until such time as he was confronted with the discrepancies between the Department of Defense Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, and the one that he had submitted to Texas DOT.

FBI investigated with the cooperation and assistance of the Texas Rangers. Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) Richard D. Hanes is prosecuting the case and AUSA Bob Stabe handled the plea and sentencing.


Texas fake war hero gets 30 days in prison
Fort Worth Star Telegram
A federal judge in Houston on Monday sentenced 41-year-old Paul A. Schroeder of Shenandoah for altering a military or naval discharge certificate. Schroeder in February resigned from the PTSD Foundation of America amid questions about his war record.

Sheanandoah man heads to prison for altering military record
Your Houston News
Paul A. Schroeder, 41, of Shenandoah, has been convicted of altering a military or naval discharge certificate and will now be headed to federal prison, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced Monday. Schroeder, former director of counseling ...


Fake war hero jailed for 30 days after claiming he won two Purple Hearts - but he's never even served overseas




A fake war hero has been jailed for 30 days after he claimed to have served in Afghanistan and awarded one of the top medals for valor.

Former military policeman Paul Schroeder, from Houston, Texas, pretended he was a highly decorated vet who served Afghanistan and Somalia.

The 41-year-old claimed he had won the Silver Star for valor and two Purple Hearts after being wounded in action.

Scroll down for video ...

Read more: 
Senate passes revised Stolen Valor Act
Marine Corps Times
The Senate moved Monday to make sure nobody profits from lying about being a military hero. The Stolen Valor Act of 2012, sponsored by decorated Vietnam War veteran Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., passed the Senate as an amendment to the 2013 defense ...


Senate passes revised Stolen Valor Act
The Stolen Valor Act of 2012, sponsored by decorated Vietnam War veteran Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., passed the Senate as an amendment to the 2013 defense ...

Marine impersonator to serve 15 months for threatening women on the Internet

A North Carolina man was sentenced Friday to more than a year in prison for posing as a Marine stationed at Quantico and threatening women on the Internet, prosecutors said.

James M. Johnson, 29, of Roxboro, N.C. pleaded guilty in July to one count of cyberstalking and one count of making interstate threats. At a hearing at U.S. District Court in Alexandria Friday, Johnson was sentenced to serve 15 months in prison and three years of probation, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's office. ...

Stolen Valor Article in January 2012 Penthouse

The late Father Capodanno's Medal of Honor survives flood
He and his wife weren't so concerned about their home when Sandy hit but rather what was inside of it: all the military memorabilia from his late brother, Vincent, a Navy chaplain who died in Vietnam and was posthumously bestowed with the Medal of Honor.

Some stories we missed:

Daniel Priotti, Veteran In Wheelchair, Assaulted On Halloween By Marine Christopher Dabney: Cops

Posted: 11/02/2012 11:00 am EDT Updated: 11/02/2012 11:00 am EDT

A U.S. Army veteran who uses a wheelchair was assaulted this week by a Marine veteran who thought the man's wheelchair and uniform were a Halloween costume.

Florida man Daniel Priotti served in the U.S. Army from 1996-1998, and was paralyzed 10 years ago in an unrelated accident, the Gainesville Sun reports......


Tutu-Wearing Marine Arrested for Beating Up Disabled Veteran

Former Postal Employees Guilty Of Stealing
Millions In U.S. Treasury Checks

December 3, 2012

Thousands of Individuals’ Tax Refund, Social Security, and Veterans Checks Stolen

ATLANTA – Gerald Eason, 47, of Stockbridge, Georgia, pleaded guilty today in federal court before U.S. District Judge Charles A. Pannell, Jr. to stealing over 1,300 U.S. Treasury checks worth more than $2.8 million, while employed as a supervisor at an Atlanta mail distribution facility. He also admitted to conspiring with another postal worker, Deborah Fambro-Echols, 49, of Hapeville, Georgia, at the same facility to steal and cash additional checks.

Fambro-Echols pleaded guilty to these charges on November 26, 2012. Four other defendants, Wendy Frasier, 35, and Daralyn M. Weaver, 31, both of Atlanta, Georgia, Jabril O. McKee, 25, of Fairburn, Georgia, and Ohmar D. Braden, 36, of Lithonia, Georgia, have also pleaded guilty in the case for their roles in the scheme.

United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said, “We created a task force last year to address the problem of stolen U.S. Treasury checks in Georgia. At that time, our state ranked third in the country in the number of federal tax refund, Social Security, and Veterans checks reported stolen by their intended recipients. With today’s pleas, we have taken two corrupt postal workers, including a supervisor, off the streets who were responsible for stealing thousands of checks worth over $3 million. We will continue to target these theft rings – both those on the inside and their network of check cashers – to address this serious problem.”

“This case illustrates the importance of task force partnerships with state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies in combating threats to our nation’s financial payment systems. U.S. Treasury checks are still a vital part of that system. The U.S. Secret Service will continue to aggressively pursue anyone who violates the faith and trust citizens have in our financial infrastructure,” said Reginald G. Moore, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service, Atlanta Field Office.

“Eason and Fambro-Echols reflect just a very small percentage of employees who failed to uphold the trust and integrity placed in them,” said Paul Bowman, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Postal Service, Office of Inspector General. “We take these cases very serious and investigate them to the fullest extent of the law. The majority of Postal Service employees are honest, hardworking, and committed to providing the timely and reliable service that customers expect and deserve.”

“The U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Inspector General is charged with a duty to prevent and detect fraud and abuse of Treasury programs and operations. We are fully committed to fighting the ever growing fraud threats against the U.S. Treasury. Working together in a task force strengthens our ability to investigate and bring to justice those that would commit fraud against the U.S. Treasury,” said U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Inspector General, Eric Thorson.
Special Agent in Charge Quentin G. Aucoin, Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General stated, “Thefts of VA benefits checks intended for veterans who honorably served this country will not be tolerated. VA OIG vigorously investigates allegations of criminal activities impacting VA programs.”

“I’d like to commend the special task force dedicated to the investigation of U.S. Treasury check fraud in Georgia. Their hard work and determination yields not only a victory over check fraud in our state, but peace of mind for the hard-working families affected by these crimes. It is very gratifying to see our agencies partner effectively as they safeguard Georgians,” said Georgia Secretary of State, Brian Kemp.

According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: Eason worked as a supervisor at the Atlanta Processing and Distribution Center, a centralized mail distribution center, on Crown Road in Atlanta, Georgia. That facility processes mail for delivery to dozens of zip codes in Georgia. Fambro-Echols worked as a mail handler at the facility. While on the job, Eason and Fambro-Echols stole thousands of U.S. Treasury checks and provided them to a network of brokers and check cashers who would then negotiate the checks and split the criminal proceeds with Eason and Fambro-Echols. These individuals forged endorsements and used fake identifications to pose as the intended recipients of the checks when cashing them.

In April 2011, law enforcement authorities searched Fambro-Echols’ residence in Hapeville. They found 661 Treasury checks totaling over $590,000. Almost all of the checks discovered during the search were dated from April 8 to 19, 2011, and thus stolen over less than a two-week period.

On March 7 and 11, 2012, Eason stole over 1,300 Treasury checks worth more than $2.8 million. Federal agents video recorded him stealing the checks at the mail facility and then observed him drive the checks to a residence, where he thought they would be distributed to co-conspirators who would cash them. He was arrested while attempting to collect his portion of the proceeds from the second delivery.

Frasier and Weaver acted as brokers for Fambro-Echols. They recruited others to cash the stolen checks at banks and business establishments. McKee and Braden worked as check cashers in the scheme, negotiating stolen checks with the help of fake identification documents and sharing the proceeds with their co-conspirators. In March 2011, they were arrested at a BestBank in Decatur, Georgia attempting to negotiate a stolen Social Security check while impersonating the intended recipient of the check.

Eason pleaded guilty to 7 counts, including conspiracy, theft of government money, and possession of stolen Treasury checks. Fambro-Echols pleaded guilty to conspiracy and theft of government money. Frasier and Weaver pleaded guilty to conspiracy and possession of stolen Treasury checks. McKee and Braden pleaded guilty to conspiracy, bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft. These charges carry maximum sentences that range from 5 to 30 years in prison each, and fines of up to $1,000,000 per count. The aggravated identity theft charges carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years in addition to any other sentence imposed. In determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.

Eason, Weaver, Fambro-Echols, and Frasier are all scheduled for sentencing on February 27, 2013, before United States District Judge Charles A. Pannell, Jr. Fambro-Echols is scheduled for sentencing at 10:00 a.m., Frasier at 10:40 a.m., Weaver at 11:30 a.m., and Eason at 2:00 p.m.

This case is being investigated by the United States Secret Service; United States Postal Service, Office of Inspector General; Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General; United States Postal Inspection Service; Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General; U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Inspector General; Georgia Department of Revenue, Office of Special Investigations; and DeKalb Police Department; with valuable assistance provided by the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office.

This case was brought as part of the U.S. Attorney’s Stolen Treasury Check Task Force. The Task Force is an informal group of 14 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies working together to address the problem of stolen U.S. Treasury checks in the Northern District of Georgia.

Assistant United States Attorneys Stephen H. McClain, Loranzo M. Fleming, Christopher C. Bly, and Jeffrey Viscomi are prosecuting the case.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Information Office at or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is

United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District Of Washington

First Veteran In Travel Fraud Investigation Sentenced To Prison

Conspired with Veteran Affairs Employees to Defraud Travel Reimbursement Program

November 26, 2012

One of five military veterans who falsified their travel claims as part of a conspiracy to defraud the Veterans Administration, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to one year in prison, three years of supervised release and $22,511 in restitution for making false claims. AARON ADAMS, 50, of Seattle, defrauded the Veterans Administration by claiming reimbursement for travel from Pullman, Washington to the VA Hospital in Seattle, when in fact he lived in Seattle and was not entitled to significant travel funds. ADAMS is one of nine conspirators identified in early 2012 by an investigation by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General. U.S. District Judge James L. Robart imposed the sentence.

According to records filed in the case, two workers in the VA Travel Benefits Office recruited veterans who were receiving health care at the VA to lie about their travel to the medical facility. ADAMS filed vouchers claiming he traveled from Pullman to Seattle for appointments at the VA on Beacon Hill. ADAMS claimed he made 96 trips, with a mileage reimbursement from Pullman of more than $262 per trip. In fact, ADAMS never traveled from Pullman, and on 23 of the dates he did not even have an appointment at the VA. After collecting the travel reimbursement, ADAMS would split the ill-gotten funds with two workers. Nick B. Hall, 46, of Seattle, Washington and Keishjuan Daniels, 32, of Kent, Washington, are scheduled for trial in January 2013. ADAMS pleaded guilty in August 2012.

Michael E. Seitler, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General, Northwest Field Office, stated that “the actions of corrupt government employees, and this veteran, who conspired with them, served to divert precious financial resources from the VA's critical mission of providing healthcare to this nation's military veterans. The VA Office of Inspector General will continue to aggressively pursue investigations of this type and hold those responsible accountable for their actions.”

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kate Vaughan.
NOVEMBER 8, 2012
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX: (716) 551-3051


ROCHESTER, N.Y.-- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced that Marc S. Restucci, 58, of Manchester, N.Y., who was convicted of filing a false military discharge certificate, was sentenced to two years probation by U.S. Magistrate Judge Marian W. Payson.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig R. Gestring, who handled the case, stated that the defendant made a claim for VA Disability Benefits to which he was not entitled. When that claim was denied, Restucci submitted false documents to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs including a false DD-214, Certificate of Discharge, which contained references to combat service and awards received during Operation Urgent Fury, the 1983 invasion of Grenada. In addition, the defendant submitted other items to the VA claiming to have received the Purple Heart Medal for combat related wounds. Receipt of the Purple Heart Medal creates a presumption of service connected disability with the VA.

Criminal investigators from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General, determined that the documents were false. They also determined that Restucci never served in Operation Urgent Fury, was never in Grenada, and never saw any combat or action with a hostile enemy force during his military service. The Certificate of Discharge was falsely altered to include the award of the combat medical badge and the Purple Heart Medal, and included a forged signature and notary seal.

The defendant was originally arrested and charged with a criminal violation of the Stolen Valor Act, which made it a federal crime to falsely represent that a person was awarded any decoration or medal authorized by Congress for the Armed Forces of the United States. He was, at that time, subject to an enhanced penalty for falsely claiming  to have received the Purple Heart Medal. However, in June of this year, the United States Supreme Court in United States vs. Alvarez found the Stolen Valor Act to be unconstitutional under the First Amendment thus precluding further prosecution.

The sentencing is the culmination of an investigation by Special Agents from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs - Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent In Charge Jeffrey G. Hughes, and Special Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Christopher M. Piehota.

Brooklyn Businessman Sentenced In Manhattan Federal Court To 41 Months In Prison For Falsely Claiming To Be A Disabled Veteran To Receive Government Contracts

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Defendant Fraudulently Obtained Over $16 Million in Contracts Set Aside for Veterans and Veterans With Disabilities

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that JOHN RAYMOND ANTHONY WHITE was sentenced today in Manhattan federal court to 41 months in prison for defrauding the United States government by falsely claiming to be a disabled veteran, in order to qualify for certain government contracts worth more than $16 million, and for his efforts to cover up that fraud. WHITE was convicted in April 2011 after a five-day jury trial. He was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Sidney H. Stein.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated: “In addition to our gratitude, the fine men and women who risk life and limb to serve our country in the military deserve every opportunity to succeed in business when they come home. And that is exactly why the programs that this defendant defrauded with impunity were created. He will now be punished for his crimes.”

According to the Indictment and the evidence presented at trial:

From June 2007 through June 2010, WHITE falsely claimed that he was both a veteran and disabled in connection with awards for four federal government construction contracts. The contracts were administered by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) and the United States Department of the Army (“Army”) to perform work for the VA in New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. One of the contracts was specifically set aside for small businesses that were owned by veterans, and the other three contracts were specifically set aside for small business that were owned by veterans with disabilities. WHITE was neither disabled, nor had he ever served in the military, but he falsely claimed to be a disabled veteran in order to obtain the contracts.

During the course of the investigation in this case, WHITE made false statements to a federal agent claiming that another person who had served in the United States military was the majority owner of his company, Mitsubishi Construction Corporation. WHITE then attempted to have that person falsely claim to the VA that he, and not WHITE, was the majority owner of the company.
* * *
In addition to the prison term, Judge Stein sentenced WHITE, 47, of New York, New York, to three years of supervised release. WHITE was also ordered to pay a $30,000 fine.

Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, and the Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General.

The case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alvin Bragg and Lee Renzin are in charge of the prosecution.

Ashland, KY. Veteran Sentenced For Selling Forged Military Certificates

September 11, 2012

- A veteran from Ashland, Ky., who made thousands of dollars selling counterfeit military certificates online was sentenced Monday.

U.S. District Judge David L. Bunning sentenced 41-year-old Clinton C. Douglas Salyer to three years of probation for affixing fraudulent seals to military certificates. Of the thirty-six month probation sentence, Salyer will serve six months in home detention.

Salyer previously admitted that he manufactured and sold thousands of fake military certificates. He used an eBay store and an internet website to solicit the forged certificates which announced honorable discharges, military awards and military training from all branches of U.S. Service.

Court documents say Salyer sold approximately 2,800 fake certificates and made around $42,000.

According to his plea agreement, Salyer forged seals of the Department of Defense, Navy, Army, U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Kerry B. Harvey, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Quentin G. Aucoin, Special Agent in Charge, VA OIG, Southeast Field Office; Jeffrey Arsenault, Special Agent in Charge, DCIS, Central Field Office; and Tim Reeves, Special Agent in Charge, NCIS, Central Field Office, jointly made the announcement today.

The investigation was conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

Assistant United States Attorney Laura K. Voorhees represented the U.S. Attorney’s Office in this case.
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