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Man Falsely Claimed to be War Hero

KSAL Staff - August 27, 2015 3:12 pm

Matthew Williams claimed to be an Army veteran and recipient of a Purple Heart award in Vietnam.

A federal jury Thursday returned a guilty verdict in the case of a Junction City man who stole his father’s identity to apply for a loan to buy a $490,000 house.

According to U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom 47-year-old Matthew Williams was convicted on one count of bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

During trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Williams filled out a loan application with Pulaski Bank using his father’s name, Social Security number and other identifying information in an attempt to get a loan to buy a house in Shawnee, Kansas. The defendant was in bankruptcy proceedings at the time.

The government presented evidence that Williams claimed to be an Army veteran and recipient of a Purple Heart award for valor in Vietnam. In fact, Williams’s father, Earl, fought in both Vietnam and Desert Storm and earned a Purple Heart, as well as other commendations.

Williams faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison and a fine up to $1 million on the bank fraud charge, and a penalty of 2 years consecutive to any other sentence on the identity theft charge.

Sentencing will be set for a later date.