What is Stolen Valor and why is it a crime? Many people are unaware of the number of military ‘posers’ that exist in our society. You can see more about these posers a the Guardians of Valor website and follow them of Facebook. Stolen Valor was codified into law in the Stolen Valor Act of 2013.
The Stolen Valor Act of 2013 amends the federal criminal code to rewrite provisions relating to fraudulent claims about military service to subject to a fine, imprisonment for not more than one year, or both an individual who, with intent to obtain money, property, or other tangible benefit, fraudulently holds himself or herself out to be a recipient of:
- a Medal of Honor (Army, Navy, Air Force)
- a Distinguished Service Cross,
- a Navy Cross,
- an Air Force Cross,
- a Silver Star,
- a Purple Heart,
- a Combat Infantryman’s Badge,
- a Combat Action Badge,
- a Combat Medical Badge,
- a Combat Action Ribbon,
- a Combat Action Medal, or
- any replacement or duplicate medal for such medal as authorized by law.
This news report is about one such incident. Though there were good things the man did, he benefited from his posturing. Read the details below:
Former leader in Marin military community charged with lying about Purple Heart
By Janis Mara, Marin Independent Journal
A disgraced former leader in Marin’s military community and one-time proprietor of a gym that trained young people for service has been charged in federal court with lying about having received a Purple Heart.
Gregory Bruce Allen, 68, of San Rafael, owner of the now-shuttered San Rafael House of Steel, was charged in U.S. District Court in San Francisco on Wednesday with one count of fraudulent representations about receipt of military decorations or medals, a misdemeanor. According to allegations in the court documents, Allen used his fake Purple Heart to obtain donations for his business.
The court case comes nearly a year after a 2015 investigation by the Marines’ Western Recruiting Region revealed that Allen didn’t serve in the Marine Corps, as he had long claimed. The results of the investigation received wide publicity and Allen closed his gym.
Allen will be arraigned March 25, according to his attorney, Charles Dresow of San Rafael. Dresow had no further comment, and Allen could not be reached for comment.
The statutory maximum penalty for the offense is one year in prison, a $100,000 fine and a year supervised release. Allen was named in a document known as an information.
“I knew it (the charge) was coming,” said Ray Mullin, president of the Marin County United Veterans Council. “I was always getting updates from the FBI” during its investigation of Allen, he said.
“It’s a slap in the veterans’ faces,” Mullin said of those who pretend to have served and received medals when they have not.