Two truths about PJ Herbert. His name is Paul John Herbert. He also served in the Marines on active duty from 1989 to 1993, and in the reserves from 1993 to 1995. However, everything else needs a fact check. Because starting around 2010, about 10 years after his last day in the Reserves, Herbert on a recurring basis, knowingly and willfully manipulated facts to embezzle, steal, purloin and convert data to then steal about $344,000 in veteran disability benefits.
It wasn’t immediately apparent that Herbert was lying about his military accomplishments. In 2017, the Daily Hampshire Gazette ran an adulatory profile of Herbert, in which he described traveling through the mountains of Iraq with a contingent of British Royal Marines when they hit an IED. Herbert said he and the others were providing safe passage to Kurds fleeing Saddam Hussein’s chemical attacks, under Operation Provide Comfort, which stretched from 1991 to 1996. He even described the noise of the helicopter propeller, after regaining consciousness from injuries. He said he was evacuated to a hospital in Turkey before being sent back to Iraq a few weeks later.
Check your facts first before you lie, Herbert. Because a group of veterans did when they realized that some of Herberts recollections didn’t make sense. In August 2022, Herbert confessed publicly to having fabricated large portions of his personal history. And at the same time, he told the Recorder that he really did suffer a traumatic brain injury when a boat he was riding in during a training exercise in California hit a sandbar. Check your facts, Herbert. There is no record of this happening. Now Herbert is facing up to five years in prison for making false Purple Heart claims and ten years in prison for fraudulent benefits.
Great job by the Department of Veteran Affairs in this investigation.
Today’s Fraud of The Day is based on article “Marine vet accused of stealing more than $344K in benefits, lied on Purple Heart application” published by NY Post on September 2, 2023
A Marine veteran accused of stolen valor allegedly stole more than $344,000 in military disability benefits and submitted a Purple Heart application for injuries suffered in a roadside bombing that never occurred.
Paul John “PJ” Herbert, 52, of Shelburne Falls, Mass., was indicted by a federal grand jury and arrested Friday morning on one count of theft of the government and one count of making false statements, according to the Department of Justice.