T he FBI has announced its first arrest based on the recently passed Stolen Valor Act. Louis Lowell McGuinn, who posed as an elite member of the Army Special Forces, could face a year in prison as the first person prosecuted under the Act.
Lewis Lowell McGuinn, a Vietnam vet, represented himself as ex-Special Forces and recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross. He faces a year in jail for his lie.
McGuinn was a regular at military galas, posing with a gleaming chest full of medals that symbolized a life of valor. McGuinn was caught by Mark Kimey, a veteran, when he recognized something wasn’t right with McGuinn’s uniform at a military ball. He was wearing the Purple Heart, the Silver Star and the Distinguished Service Cross incorrectly. Kimey notified the Special Forces Headquarters and the 40-year lie started to unravel.
Manhattan federal prosecutors used a brand new law to charge McGuinn with posing as a war hero – making the Flushing, Queens, man one of the first in the New York region to face prosecution under the Stolen Valor Act. The law, which took effect in January, makes it a felony to falsely claim to have received an award authorized for members of the U.S. armed forces.
McGuinn did actually serve in Vietnam and was a private when he was discharged from the Army in 1968. Over the years, however, he “promoted” himself up to lieutenant colonel to help him win lucrative security consulting contracts, according to prosecuters.
McGuinn, also also known as Lowell Craig McGuinn, faces a year in jail. He was released on $5,000 bond after a brief court hearing.