Jonathan Wade Short, a 23-year-old, pleaded guilty in Western Kentucky US District court yesterday to charges of pretending to be an officer of the US military, wire fraud, making false statements or representations, and entering government property under false pretenses for the purposes of committing a felony. The phony is looking at combined maximum term of 23 years in prison, a combined maximum fine of $500,000 and a ten year term of supervised release. But his story is pretty familiar to many of us in the business of busting phonies.
He met a woman who the USDOJ press release calls “A.V.” on a social networking site and proceeded to fleece her;
Jonathan Wade Short, age 23, despite being a civilian with absolutely no record of service in the armed forces of the United States, admitted to falsely impersonating a United States soldier for a period between March 8, 2012, until December 7, 2012.
Further, during August 2012, Short admitted in court to meeting A.V., the daughter of a retired member of the armed forces, on a social networking site where he falsely claimed to be a highly decorated soldier, who had been on multiple deployments, and received high military honors (including the Purple Heart). Approximately one month later, when the two met for the first time in person, Short, dressed in a complete Army Combat Uniform (ACU) wearing the rank of Sergeant, a Combat Infantryman Badge, and Parachutists Badge, Combat Patch, and a Ranger tab. While dating A.V. in Daviess and Hardin Counties and elsewhere, Short, who was accompanied by A.V., repeatedly demanded and obtained financial benefits and discounts only entitled to current and former members of the armed forces of the United States. Short possessed at least seven Army Dress Uniforms, with accompanying ribbons, badges, and medals, and wore them in public and on social networking sites as part of his continuous effort to impersonate a decorated combat veteran.
Between October 6, 2012, and approximately November 16, 2012, in Hardin County, defendant Short, did repeatedly ask A.V. to send him money under the false premise that he needed money to help defray the expenses related to his son’s emergency medical treatment at Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky. Short actually had no son who was ill or hospitalized. In fact, he demanded the money from A.V. in order to exploit A.V.’s belief he was a noble soldier in a desperate family and financial situation. During the two month period, A.V. gave Short nearly $1,000.
He finally decided to see how his little ruse would work on real soldiers at Fort Knox, which was his undoing. The MPs picked him up and then turned him over to the FBI.
There’s a Jonathon Wade Short in Kentucky who has an extensive arrest record, but I’m not totally convinced that it’s him, because the age doesn’t match. But it really doesn’t matter because this one is going away for a very long time.
Thanks to MM & CPT Reid for the head up.
Category: Phony soldiers