A Slidell man named Matthew Lehman was arrested last week for using personal information and photographs to impersonate a decorated military veteran. Lehman was wanted in Pennsylvania for making terrorist threats, and he assumed the identity of a veteran in order to escape the law.
Lehman used his fake military identity to intimidate people online.
The military has not made the impersonated veteran’s name public, but it confirmed that the veteran never met Lehman and did not give his information to the imposter. Lehman actually found the veteran’s information through social media.
“It’s absolutely despicable that a person would use a dedicated military member’s identity to deceive and intimidate the public,” Attorney General James “Buddy” Caldwell said. “I am proud of the joint law enforcement effort that has put this man behind bars.”
Impersonating military veterans is like a sport to some skeevy criminals. Earlier this summer, an infamous identity thief posed as a former Green Beret so he could attend West Point alumni events and meet women. Posers are constantly being outed by concerned citizens armed with cellphones. Pretenders using a military member’s name to avoid terrorism charges and scare Internet users? That’s low, even if it doesn’t qualify as legitimate stolen valor.