New stolen valor legislation in Pennsylvania punishes violators with tougher penalties. This new PA stolen valor law states that anyone who falsely gets a veteran's designation on their driver's license or photo ID would face up to a year in jail and fines as high as $2,500.
These tougher Pennsylvania stolen valor penalties, introduced by Republican state Senator Lisa Baker, came as a result of an an audit conducted by the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs which revealed that more than 350 applicants - out of the 190,000 people who applied for the special designation - were not qualified to receive the designation.
Baker stated, "After hearing these concerns, I decided an additional deterrent was needed, and we introduced legislation to create stolen valor penalties."
Unfortunately, the issue of military fakers who pretend to be veterans for personal gain is an issue that is being reported on quite often. One instance, which took place in a Pennsylvania mall, went viral last year when a U.S. Army veteran confronted a military faker, who was taking advantage of military discounts, and shared the video on social media.
Other states, like New Jersey and Massachusetts, are also enacting tougher stolen valor penalties like Pennsylvania. There is even a Stolen Valor website which gives people an online location to share their stories and videos when they encounter incidents of stolen valor.
In a recent case of a stolen valor video going viral, a Florida man was accused of impersonating a member of SEAL Team 6. Not only was he this man a military faker, but he was using a military uniform and medals to solicit money from individuals.
According to Florida authorities, 54-year-old Freemane Brown was aggressively demanding donations for veterans outside of a grocery store. When confronted, Brown told police that he was a former member of Navy SEAL Team 6.
The military faker was wearing a Navy uniform. On his uniform, he had a Navy Cross, Silver Star, Navy Seal Trident and Jump Wings.
When police confronted Brown, saying that the items on his uniform were not in compliance with standard military regulations, he changed his story and told police he never served in the Navy. He also said that he purchased the uniform and military medals from a surplus store.
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