Shane Sperow; phony Marine

| April 19, 2016

Shane-Sperow

One of our friends sent us a link to the story of Shane Sperow of Reading, Pennsylvania. He was arrested last year for defrauding a scrap metal dealer by altering the slips of paper that vouched for the amount of scrap he brought for sale.

So, when he goes to trial, him and his lawyer tell the judge that he was a decorated Marine;

The St. Lawrence man, through his attorney, also provided a written statement in court that he was awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart during his service, [District Attorney John] Adams said.

A check by the county’s adult probation office, however, revealed no evidence of Sperow having served in the Marine Corps, prompting authorities to conclude that he misrepresented himself before the court, according to Adams.

So, Shane is back behind bars. The year before that, he was arrested for assault and for making terroristic threats and they had to call the SWAT out to take him in. A real pillar of the community.

Category: Phony soldiers

Comments (40)

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  1. Hondo says:

    I will never understand why attorneys aren’t disciplined or prosecuted for making blatantly false statements of fact in court (such as the one here) on the behalf of their clients.

    At best, IMO such conduct shows potential evidence of failure to perform due diligence. (I can cut slack if the client supplies the attorney good quality fake documents to support such a claim – but only then.) Worst case, IMO it shows willing participation in perjury.

    The former should be cause for sanction by the appropriate bar association. The latter, if provable, should be prosecuted.

    • 2/17 Air Cav says:

      The atty is under no obligation to determine the authenticity of documents presented by his client, as here, in mitigation. If the atty knows something to be true, he may say so; otherwise, he will offer his client’s documents or qualify statements with, “My client says” or some such verbiage. When it comes to testifying, an atty may not elicit testimony from his client that he knows to be false. Instead, when a lying sac o’shit insists on taking the stand, the atty will disassociate himself from the lies by asking the client to give his version of events in a narrative fashion, w/o Q/A.

      • Hondo says:

        The atty is under no obligation to determine the authenticity of documents presented by his client, as here, in mitigation.

        And that, sir, is part of the problem. A reasonable person, when asked to make a claim on behalf of another person, exercises due diligence in determining whether or not he will do so – and part of that due diligence is taking a good, hard look at any documentation presented him/her and deciding whether it appears plausible.

        Here, one of two things happened. Either (a) Sperow verbally made the claims to his attorney without supporting documentation, claiming that “I lost them”; or (b) Sperow presented his attorney with fake documents.

        I’d wager (a) is very likely the case. If so, then his attorney IMO failed to exercise due diligence (and common sense) in ensuring he was not “played like a violin” and misled into deceiving the court. As a layman, that to me seems to be an abrogation of that lawyer’s professional responsibilities.

        Assuming case (b), either the documents presented to his attorney by Sperow were passable fakes or they were not. If they were passable fakes, I find no fault in his attorney’s conduct; examining passable fakes constitutes due diligence, and anyone can be fooled temporarily by a sufficiently good forgery.

        However, if the documents provided by Sperow appeared questionable or obviously bogus, IMO his attorney failed to exercise due diligence (and common sense) in failing to double-check them himself. As you have noted, the attorney has an obligation NOT to mislead the court. Further, if the attorney was clueless as to what “right looks like”, IMO he similarly abrogated his professional responsibility to the court by failing to educate himself in the basics or consult a more experienced colleague or outside expert.

        We jump all over VSOs and journalists for failing to exercise similar due diligence. I can’t see why lawyers should receive any sort of “special dispensation” in this area when they’re making claims on behalf of a client.

        • 2/17 Air Cav says:

          Yeah, I get your take. I’m saying what is, not what should be. Nothing in the story indicates to me that the defense atty did anything improper under the controlling ethics rules.

          • Hondo says:

            Understood.

            Perhaps “what is” needs an adjustment.

            • 2/17 Air Cav says:

              Fat chance. The incestuous relationship I referred to below is just that. Many state legislators and national legislators are attorneys. The rules are written by and approved by attorneys. The judges are nearly all former defense attorneys or prosecutors, and budding defense attorneys often learn the trade as assistant prosecutors. If one looks at attorney advertising rules and attorney fees, it’s a no brainer how the profession gets away with the stuff it does. Quite cozy. Quite incestuous.

        • Martinjmpr says:

          I think the tension here is between the lawyer’s duty to be truthful with the court and his duty to “zealously” represent his client.

          Disciplinary bodies are loathe to impose any obligations that might limit the lawyer’s ability to get the best result for his client. In this case, a lawyer might say that he has no reason to believe that his client is lying to him about the client’s military service and to not use it would be a breach of the lawyer’s duty to the client.

          Which I think is complete BS, but I’ll bet that’s exactly what the lawyer would say if he was questioned regarding this matter.

          Like Hondo, I think a lawyer does have an obligation to the court and to the jurisdiction in which he practices to ensure that if he makes statements about his clients military service that those claims are reasonably accurate (and this applies to other claims that a client might make in mitigation: That he was a survivor of some terrible tragic event, that he has achieved high honors in some publicly recognized field, etc.)

          In the days before the internet, perhaps a lawyer could be excused for not having the time or the staff to research these things but that’s not something that can be said nowadays.

    • Dave Hardin says:

      Although the defendant and witnesses are under oath during trial proceedings…the Attorney is not.

      • 2/17 Air Cav says:

        The atty is an officer of the court and is obligated not to lie to the court. No additional oath is necessary.

        • Dave Hardin says:

          The “duty of candor” that applies to Attorneys has a far lower expectation of “truth” than the individual under oath.

          “the attorneys’ arguments are not evidence” his entire purpose is to enter innuendo and speculation to cloud the evidence.

          Nothing he says may be considered evidence. The person under oath however has their every word subjected to scrutiny.

          • 2/17 Air Cav says:

            There is nothing whatsoever in this story that indicates that the atty lied. Mitigation is just that and occurs after a guilty finding. That’s when the bullshit flies but, again, the atty will not knowingly lie to the court even in mitigation, lest he be charged with ethics violations. Mitigation is the whining part of the trial, the part where the troubled childhood, the lack of education, the this and the that are heard by the sentencing judge in the hopes of a light sentence.

            • Dave Hardin says:

              Agreed, I see nothing that indicates he knowingly lied to the court.

              What I see is the all too common use of plausible deniability when it comes to what the truth is.

              His Attorney failed to provide his client proper representation by allowing easily disproved statements to be entered into testimony.

              He simply regurgitated the words of his client to the court.

    • Silentium Est Aureum says:

      Which explains why our favorite shitty pilot gets away with lying his ass off in court.

      If you or I do it, we get the dogs hit hammered out of us. Him? Not so much.

    • Martinjmpr says:

      You would think that the courts would hold lawyers to a higher standard of conduct than they do other professionals but this is just one of the examples of the fact that most of the time they don’t.

      BTW the same rule seems to apply to the various privileges of confidentiality, too. Courts routinely find ways to crack doctor/patient, spousal communication, and priest/penitent communications but they are very, very reluctant to do anything that would endanger attorney/client privilege.

      It’s a sad example of the way the legal profession too often “looks out for its own” at the expense of society as a whole and as a member of the bar for 10 years now, I think it’s one of the leading reasons people have the opinion of lawyers that they do.

    • desert says:

      Because, if lawyers couldn’t lie….they wouldn’t be lawyers and couldn’t practice….whatever it is they practice..damned sure isn’t LAW!

  2. Combat Historian says:

    Yup, per Jonn, a real pillar of the community…

  3. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    “Before authorities made the discovery [of Sperow’s falsehoods], Sperow was handed down a reduced sentence for the previous charges. The judge, that’s Judge Thomas G. Parisi– cited Sperow’s experience and the fact he was in[j]ured during combat as reasons for the lesser sentence.” So, the POS received a reduced sentence based on his false claim of two Purple Hearts and, presumably, not just his experience but his military experience. Okay, so what does the prosecutor do? He asks the judge—that’s Judge Thomas G. Parisi—to re-sentence Sperow in light of the fact that Sperow’s service and Purple Hearts claims were lies. So what does the judge—that’s Judge Thomas G. Parisi– do? He declines, denying the motion for re-sentencing. Did I mention that the judge’s name is Thomas G. Parisi?

    • Hondo says:

      And that is another big part of the problem – judges who simply will not hammer people who lie about their military background in an attempt to get leniency. This judge is a perfect example.

      • 2/17 Air Cav says:

        Yes, that is my recurring beef and why I repeatedly gave the judge’s full name, Thomas G. Parisi. If you want to talk about the untouchables in our society, we ought to begin with the princes and princesses of the judicial fiefdoms. Despite the fact that many are elected or subject to voter approval, few of us know anything about these decision makers who often return very, very bad people to communities repeatedly. (The legal community is quite an incestuous one.)

  4. Claw says:

    Another 1997 DEP no-show with a forged Honorable Discharge, a BSM w/V and two CAR’s.

    Looks like Forgin Frank put in some overtime on cranking this one out.

    He definitely needs to get in contact with the 1st SEAC for a little Intra-Service coordination in getting this all straightened out or else there will be some additional playtime in his future at the graybar hotel with Bubba, Thor, Julio and Mr. Tiny.

    • Claw says:

      Oops, forgot to include the two false Purple Hearts.

      My bad.

    • Claw says:

      Oops again. Additional incorrect reference.

      It should be * BSM w/Combat Distinguishing Device or Combat V*,(Navy/USMC/CG) not just plain V Device.(Army & AF)

      Forgot for a moment what service this turd did not serve in.

      Not enough coffee yet this morning.

      I blame it all on Scooby.

  5. nbcguy54ACTUAL says:

    Back behind bars.

    Now that’s just a crying Shane. …

  6. IDC SARC says:

    Farce Reclown HANO Jumpmaster!

  7. Scotty says:

    It appears that he was doing more than just lie’ing to his attorney and the courts.

    This cum bubble was actually trying to live the dream.

    http://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/berks-man-falsified-military-career-in-court-district-attorney-says#sthash.8XkHPQTE.dpuf

    • Claw says:

      Yeah, I saw that in an additional linked video.

      Two different ribbon racks. One rack with Desert Storm type service medals and the other with GWOT type service medals.

      I guess he wears a different rack depending on the age group of the people he’s trying to bullshit.

  8. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    There is a hero in this story. It is certainly not Judge Thomas G. Parisi or the prosecutor. It is the anonymous county probation officer—probably a Veteran—who checked out Sperow’s claim and then acted on the info received. So, kudos to you, whoever you are. Nicely done.

  9. Ex-PH2 says:

    I can help him recant his claim. All I need is a chair, some rope and a pair of tweezers. 🙂

  10. OldManchu says:

    But… but… he has that thousand yard stare. He HAS TO be a Marine, no doubt about it.

    • nbcguy54ACTUAL says:

      That thousand yard stare is because he’s fixing to be some Bubba’s Marilyn, not because he was a Marine.

      Sweet dreams Cupcake…

  11. Green Thumb says:

    Dude looks like a ticklemonster.

    Dirtbag.

  12. HMCS(FMF) ret. says:

    Well, he’s back in the poundhimintheas jail enjoying the standard jailhouse fare of cockmeat sammiches and tubesteak served with generous helpings of nutbutter and manmayo!

  13. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    Fuckin’ highway rest area toe-tapper.

  14. Jarhead says:

    Did anyone else happen to notice an uncanny resemblance to a dude who sang with the Village People? Dontcha know Village People Lives Matter.

  15. ex-OS2 says:

    Cocksucker.

    • Jarhead says:

      That’s kinda what I was implying. The dude’s devious looking smile causes me to think of an old pain relief ointment…none other than Ben Gay.