The official blog of American Veteran Magazine, the national quarterly publication of AMVETS.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fake Veteran Arrested, Charged With "Stolen Valor"

For months, AMVETS has been following the story of Richard Standlof, a 32-year-old Colorado man who claimed to be an Iraq veteran, a Purple Heart and Silver Star recipient, a Naval Academy graduate, and a 9/11 Pentagon survivor. However, it was all a farce.

On Sunday, Standlof was finally arrested in San Diego, Calif. and charged under the 2005 Stolen Valor Act. CNN has been covering the scandal behind Standlof and reported on his arrest. Standlof also admitted he was a fraud to CNN's Anderson Cooper in the spring.

In Colorado, Standlof was also known as a vocal opponent of the war in Iraq and a veterans' advocate for his group Colorado Veterans Alliance. Though Standlof claims he gained nothing from his work with the Alliance and that he only sought to help veterans, AMVETS doesn't buy it.

Standlof, who was living in a homeless shelter on 9/11, at the very least diverted philanthropy dollars from legitimate veterans' causes and helped to sully the credibility of established veterans charities.

Now, Standlof faces up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine under the Stolen Valor Act. AMVETS supported the passage of the act in 2005. Today, AMVETS leaders from around the country hope that the Colorado courts throw the book at Standlof.

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