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Goddard Announces Prison Term for Man Posing as Decorated Marine

(Phoenix, Ariz. - Oct. 5, 2010) Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced that John W. Rodriguez, 31, of Scottsdale, who for many years posed as a highly decorated Marine, has been sentenced in Maricopa County Superior Court to seven-and-a-half years in prison on charges of forgery, fraudulent schemes and presentation of a false instrument for filing. The sentence also includes four years probation upon his release.

Between 2005 and 2010, Rodriguez made a number of false representations that he had served in the military and had been awarded a variety of prestigious medals. He regularly wore the uniform of a U.S. Marine Corps sergeant, displaying numerous commendations including the Navy Cross and the Silver Star. The Navy Cross is the second highest award for valor for Sailors and Marines. He posed as a Marine at public functions and signed documents claiming to be on active duty. Rodriguez listed military status when he tried to gain employment. He also attended political events in uniform, claiming he was hero who had served in Afghanistan and Iraq. 

A search of Department of the Navy and Department of Defense records, however, found that Rodriguez never served in any branch of the military.

After the Department of Public Safety and Department of Defense conducted an investigation of his claims, Rodriguez flew from Arizona to California on May 28, 2009. During a search of the home where Rodriguez had been staying, investigators found numerous Marine Corps uniforms, insignia, medals, ribbons and receipts for their purchase. They also uncovered flight information and determined that Rodriguez would be returning on June 10, 2009. Officers met the defendant at the airport and arrested him. 

The jury found Rodriguez guilty of five counts of fraudulent schemes and artifices, four counts of forgery, two counts of fraudulent schemes and practices, and one count of presentment of a false instrument for filing. 

This case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Tim Linnins. A photo of Rodriguez is attached. For more information, contact Press Secretary Molly

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