Man charged with using fraudulent Purple Heart to raise money



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According to an Associated Press article, Federal prosecutors have charged a Northern California man with lying about being a Marine Purple Heart recipient to raise $20,000 for a veteran nonprofit and his own military recruit training program.

The Marin Independent Journal says 68-year-old Gregory Bruce Allen of San Rafael spent eight months in the Navy in the 1960s but never was a Marine or wounded in combat to be eligible for a Purple Heart. Allen had been stating that he was a Marine Corps. Lieutenant at fundraising events.

The Marin Independent Journal also stated that Allen formerly used to run a gym called San Rafael House of Steel that was marketed as a place that prepared patrons for military service. Dressed as a decorated war veteran, Allen hosted annual fundraisers starting in 2010, to raise money for “Helping Heroes from Home” nonprofit, also known as Triple H, and his recruit training program. Court documents state Allen wore a Marine Corps uniform complete with a lieutenant insignia and ribbons at a fundraiser in October 2013. The documents indicate Allen had told a donor, who paid $40 to go to the event and later bought $600 worth of items in an auction at the benefit, that he earned a Purple Heart.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that photographs taken at various veterans events in 2013 and 2014 show Allen wearing a Marine Corps uniform with ribbons for the Purple Heart. According to the Chronicle article, a former business partner of Allen’s said, “he asked for help purchasing military memorabilia, including medals and uniforms. He used military catalogs like Sgt. Grit to buy the decorations, according to court records.” When his partner asked why he needed the items, Allen told him he had lost all his memorabilia, including a Purple Heart “during a fire or flood at a storage facility.”

An FBI statement said all of the checks (about $23,000) were deposited into three accounts controlled by Allen.

Allen was charged in the U.S. District Court of San Francisco with fraudulent representations about receipt of military decoration or medals, a misdemeanor. He faces up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

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One thought on “Man charged with using fraudulent Purple Heart to raise money

  1. ceed47 on said:

    The Stolen Valor Act needs beefed up for these kind of posers…They desecrate the very fiber of Veterans that have gave it ALL. We Veterans are very proud of history for all the many reasons we have helped make this country free. We just want the country to realize that freedom comes with a very high price. Do not take your freedom for granted. It was earned by some very selfless, heroric and faithful comrades in arms.
    This low life poser and I might add seems there are alot more of them now that America is finally respecting the deeds of the Armed Forces. It is a shame that people have to stoop so low to get recognition for something they have never done and walk on the very souls of the great men and women of this country that have sacrficed so much…. I am Viet Nam Vet 1967-68. Life menber of MOPH.. (military order of Purple Heart)..

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