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Old 20 April 2009, 17:25
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Poser Busting

Some notes on poser busting. Any corrections, observations, or additions, chime in here. Thanks.

1. A photo is worth a thousand words. You want to secure a photo of the charlatan wearing unauthorized and unearned awards and accoutrements. This is the core of any Stolen Valor prosecution, and it makes prosecution a slam dunk.

2. You need to document the crime. A copy of the DD214 that the poser is using is critical, as a DD214 is a Federal document. If it is hacked, or modified in any unauthorized fashion, that act is yet another vital piece of evidence. It is also another separate felony. Copies of orders that are falsified are also good pieces of evidence, as the originals can be located.

3. You need to get a copy of the genuine DD214 via FOIA. The procedures are detailed on the www.archives.gov website. It does not take long to receive a reply from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). A few weeks at most, and often less. Compare this official document with the one that the poser is distributing. Any discrepancies should be obvious. If you need assistance deciphering the abbreviations or acronyms that are used on the DD214, feel free to ask for assistance here on SOCNET.

3a. It is possible that a poser will have false information in his military records, and this information can show up on a legit DD214. Demonstrating fakery of this magnitude involves specialized investigation. If you suspect that you have a case like this, SOCNET is a good first place to ask for help. As an example, the fake POW poser CSM Richard Cayton is a prime example of the phenomenon. CSM Cayton was a genuine soldier, a genuine veteran of Vietnam, and a Ranger veteran of Vietnam, in fact, but he somehow felt compelled to embellish his already worthy war record with false claims of POW status and escape. He was busted cold. You can read about the case on the POW Network website.

4. Once you have the above steps completed, take stock of where you are. If your poser is illegally drawing VA benefits, for example, correspond with the VA Inspector General. Do it in writing, be specific, and request a written reply. Do not be angry if they send you a form letter stating that "no further investigation is warranted." If you know that the poser is fraudulently drawing benefits, that VA investigator just handed their head to you on a platter. If you suspect that the VA IG made a mistake, then patiently and politely reply to the person who signed your letter, and tell them so, and why. Ask them to reconsider their lack of action, and to inform you of their decision in writing.

5. Gather all materials together into an organized document with tabs for supporting materials. Make duplicate copies. Send a copy to the Assistant US Attorney (AUSA) in the jurisdiction in which the crimes have occurred. These are the folks who will prosecute your poser. Include a cover letter explaining who you are and why you are sending them the information. Politely ask them to review your data and then prosecute the poser under Stolen Valor statutes. There is nothing wrong with including a copy of those statutes in the document, and citing specific clauses and violations in your letter. Be certain to cite specific dates, times, venues, witnesses, and evidence. Finally, ask the AUSA to confirm receipt, and to advise you of their ultimate course of action.

6. One thing that you must not forget to do is to document how the fraudulent activities of the poser have benefited him. Be specific, and do not shy away from documenting precise dollar amounts. If the benefits are more vague, list them, but emphasize how they harm others. In any case, you need to document how the fraudulent activity of the poser has harmed others. It is not enough, generally, to simply state "so-and-so violated the law." You have to say that much, specifically cite which law, and then wrap it up with statements that make clear that the violations harmed Federal agencies, private firms, and specific individuals.

7. Finally, when you hit a brick wall, and no one will do anything, you take copies of all of your correspondence with the VA IG, and the AUSA, and anyone else, and you present it to your elected officials. You can find them using www.house.gov for Congressional representatives, and www.senate.gov for Senators. Write them a cover letter stating that you referred a case of Stolen Valor to the VA IG or to the AUSA for prosecution and that they failed in their duties. Elected officials have staffers whose entire purpose in life is to handle guys like you. They will review your packet, and if they see that you do indeed have a case, which should be immediately apparent if you have carefully followed the guidance in this post, then you will suddenly start to receive phone calls or emails from AUSA's and VA investigators and other people who previously were blowing you off. This is because the staffers who work for your elected representatives will send them letters asking them for formal replies to inconvenient questions.

8. Follow your case all the way through to prosecution and sentencing. Post here and on other websites. We will help, and we can, in often magical ways. Also keep the good folks at the POW Network in the loop. They are the real experts at poser busting.

9. Once everything is said and done, write letters of appreciation or letters of complaint to the bosses of those people who either helped or failed to do their jobs. If a Federal employee receives a letter from someone that is reasoned, calm, and precise, and it details that someone under their supervision failed to do their job, that can be pretty shocking.

Always include the sentence: "Please ensure that a copy of this letter is included in Mr. X's permanent personnel record, and please ensure that his failure to perform his duty is punitively reflected in his next annual personnel evaluation." Politely ask for a confirmation that these things have in fact happened, and if you do not receive that confirmation, call your buddies on the staff of your elected officials. By this time, you will know them pretty well.

Likewise, if someone does their job, thank them for doing it. Yes, they are getting paid to do their jobs, but we all know that there are tons of federal employees who do the minimum, and get away with it. You just might motivate one of those employees. It is better, in case you do not realize it, to send a letter of praise to the line supervisor of a federal employee, rather than to the employee themselves.
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Last edited by magician; 28 August 2009 at 04:08. Reason: Added links, and additional information.
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Old 28 May 2009, 04:10
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Good points, but I have a friend (whom I've never met in person yet) who claims to have served in Operational Detachment D (Squadron Charlie) in Mogu and also in Gulf War I.

I'm a tabbed Ranger and a Senior EOD Tech, but I'm Vietnam era and I'm not "cleared for wierd" anymore. All I know is what I read in the tech thrillers (Griffin, et al).

So how can I vett someone who claims to have served in a "classified" unit?

I do have his name and phone number if someone wants to pm me.

Viemal dank'
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Old 29 May 2009, 02:59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RangerJim View Post
Good points, but I have a friend (whom I've never met in person yet) who claims to have served in Operational Detachment D (Squadron Charlie) in Mogu and also in Gulf War I.

I'm a tabbed Ranger and a Senior EOD Tech, but I'm Vietnam era and I'm not "cleared for wierd" anymore. All I know is what I read in the tech thrillers (Griffin, et al).

So how can I vett someone who claims to have served in a "classified" unit?

I do have his name and phone number if someone wants to pm me.

Viemal dank'
Ranger Jim
You can PM all information that you have to me.

m.
=
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SFQC 4-84: ODA 151, Co B, 2d Battalion, 1SFGA, 1984-86. SF Association: M-10547.
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Old 8 June 2009, 16:18
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Updated the post on poser busting with links and additional information.
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Ranger Classes 12, 13, & 14-81: 1st PLT, "Bad 'Muthers," Co A, 2d Ranger Battalion, 1980-84.
SFQC 4-84: ODA 151, Co B, 2d Battalion, 1SFGA, 1984-86. SF Association: M-10547.
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Old 27 July 2009, 21:41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magician View Post
Updated the post on poser busting with links and additional information.
Thanks, Brother, this whole sticky was badly needed.

You are the Heat!
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Old 4 August 2011, 13:30
lirelou lirelou is offline
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Just a note on DD 214's. Sometimes it is handy to get the closest DD 214 to the year that the poseur claims to have served in combat. We had a 1SG in the 96th ARCOM who had actually served in Vietnam, as a clerk in the Air Force. However, five years after getting out, he enlisted in a Personnel Service Company of the USAR and took a job as their technician. He claimed to have served with the 25th Division in Vietnam, earned a CIB, the Senior Aviator Crewman's badge, and a BSM for service. He had recently attended the full time Sergeant Major's Academy course at Fort Bliss, and had a DD-214 which showed all those awards. Asked to verify his service, I simply went over to his company when he was not there, and asked to see his file (this was 1981-2). Of interest, he had left in the course completion certificates of every course he ever took in the Air Force. Those all listed him as a SGT in the USAF. His 1967 DD-214 showed the standard NDSM, VSM, and VCM w/60 device, and nothing else. When my complaint was presented to the 96th ARCOM, they passed it to the IG, who upheld all my findings. The offending 1SG was merely told to remove the badges and medals he wasn't entitled to, and later promoted to SGM on the argument: "Hell, we paid all that money to send him to school, we need to get something out of it."

Sometimes, more than a single DD-214 is needed.
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Old 4 August 2011, 15:22
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Sheesh. Good one. Thanks for sharing that.
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SFQC 4-84: ODA 151, Co B, 2d Battalion, 1SFGA, 1984-86. SF Association: M-10547.
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Old 24 February 2012, 18:50
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I was at Merchants Tire and Auto Service (Rio Road Charlottesville) getting my oil changed...had a coupon...The assistant manager there saw my Disabled Vet tags and started telling me stories about being SF. I just shut up and let his spin his web. I did not bust him but am planning on doing so in the not to distant future if one of you all in that area does not do it first.
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Old 8 March 2012, 21:17
bustedflojos99 bustedflojos99 is offline
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Looking for help VETTING a 3d SFG guy who was supposedly blown up by and IED on 2 different occasions and medically retired from the Army! here is the kicker-- I know he is a liar and I am looking to find someone he was deployed with who can give me the true 100% story as to what this guy went through.

Let me know please...again 3d group 1BN C co 2002ish to 2005ish...
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Old 8 March 2012, 21:27
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Hey brother, I didn't see an intro post. Sometimes they do disappear, but here is where they go http://www.socnet.com/showthread.php?p=1058113887#post1058113887


Once you do that I'm sure someone will be around to help you.
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Old 8 March 2012, 21:50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bustedflojos99 View Post
Looking for help VETTING a 3d SFG guy who was supposedly blown up by and IED on 2 different occasions and medically retired from the Army! here is the kicker-- I know he is a liar and I am looking to find someone he was deployed with who can give me the true 100% story as to what this guy went through.

Let me know please...again 3d group 1BN C co 2002ish to 2005ish...
I was in that BN part of the time period stated. PM me name and I can assist.
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Old 9 March 2012, 12:34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bustedflojos99 View Post
Looking for help VETTING a 3d SFG guy who was supposedly blown up by and IED on 2 different occasions and medically retired from the Army! here is the kicker-- I know he is a liar and I am looking to find someone he was deployed with who can give me the true 100% story as to what this guy went through.

Let me know please...again 3d group 1BN C co 2002ish to 2005ish...
So how do you know he is a liar? If you know, then why come here? Why the interest in this individual and how have "his stories" impacted you? Why is it necessary that you have the "true 100% story as to what this guy went through"?

Being hit by an IED is, quite often, a very personal thing, especially if if it was of the catastrophic type resulting in death or disability. A better explanation as to your interest in this guy would be fair to those who may desire to help you in this matter.



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Old 13 March 2012, 14:59
bustedflojos99 bustedflojos99 is offline
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Tripod-thanks for the check fire on my part! Your right..so, when i started working the first thing this guy does is say, " Hey how ya doing..I got blown up 2 times by an IED and medicaly retired...."Since working with this guy, the story has grown and grown and grown into lies upon lies upon lies. Some of his stories have been vetted by guys in his past unit that say he did one tour, got hit by a minor IED, got evacuated and never returned, this was 3 mo into his initial tour. He tells guys he did 8 years in 3SFG as a Senior 18B who was in numerous fire fights and called in CAS within 250m, hit guys 1200m center mass, with a MK47...etc...see where I am going with this. I have been asked about his stories and the truth about them. Does it directly effect me NO! Does it go against my morales and ethics...yes. I was never SF, i was in 1/75, and served honorable..as did most of you.

All the while, I have good buddies who have no legs, who have no arms and are still on active duty, and are still in the fight! I myself have been there and done that...as most of us have but where in all that he says and does is the,"Quiet Professionalism?"
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Old 13 March 2012, 15:24
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Well, it appears to me that it has been confirmed to your satisfaction that he was indeed SF and was indeed hit by an IED (minor or not). Wether it was his first tour or 4th is unimportant as far as Im concerned.

Is he maybe embellishing? Perhaps. But by the definition of "poser" in regards to this forum he does not qualify.

What I find curious is your profile indicates you work at SOCOM. I would think further answers to your concerns, misplaced or not, would be easy for you to find. Any of the component command CSM's would probably be willing to look into this for you, if they feel your concerns have any relevance. Me personally, I think you are making a mountain out of a mole hill.

Since I was a 7th Grouper I will defer any further comment and let my 3rd Group compadres assist you if they find any relevance in your concerns - beyond you having an obvious hard on for the guy.

Good luck

Tripod
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Old 13 March 2012, 16:44
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Hold on now.

You know for a fact that the guy was SF?

You are just looking to verify the details of his wounding?

Is that correct?
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Old 13 March 2012, 17:15
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Magician-

See the highlited portion of his last post.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bustedflojos99 View Post
Some of his stories have been vetted by guys in his past unit that say he did one tour, got hit by a minor IED, got evacuated and never returned, this was 3 mo into his initial tour. He tells guys he did 8 years in 3SFG as a Senior 18B who was in numerous fire fights and called in CAS within 250m, hit guys 1200m center mass, with a MK47...etc...see where I am going with this. I have been asked about his stories and the truth about them. Does it directly effect me NO! Does it go against my morales and ethics...yes. I was never SF, i was in 1/75, and served honorable..as did most of you.

All the while, I have good buddies who have no legs, who have no arms and are still on active duty, and are still in the fight! I myself have been there and done that...as most of us have but where in all that he says and does is the,"Quiet Professionalism?"
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Old 14 March 2012, 05:15
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Disregard my post about this subject! All is good and all is DONE and settled. Thats why I asked and I got the answered I was looking for. Thanks again and if my post came off in the wrong form-I apologize. Thanks again and it turns out-its all good.
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Old 14 March 2012, 05:17
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Thanks...Done deal. Issue resolved....I am now digesting crowe!
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Old 22 April 2012, 01:41
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Hi everyone. I posted my intro sticky just a few minutes ago. I was wondering if someone could help me in vetting a "former" SF participant. I'm not sure how else to word it. This officer is currently deployed and in charge of a rather large section of Soldiers and on his official Bio turned into the command, list him as having multiple command, not leadership, but actual command positions within a group, yet no references made to the Q course or such. I do have his bio in electronic and hard copy and want to nail this person as he received his current leadership position based on the claims made on his bio. Mind you he is not from the unit we are deployed with and is the only one from his former organization with us so no way to vette it with someone here with us. Thanks for any and all help ahead of time.
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Old 22 April 2012, 05:59
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@dotherightthing,

pm me with the info. I work up at SWC CDID (formerly DOT-D), if I don't know him, there's plenty of other folks that may....or may not if your man is FOS...
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