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Police: Man Faked War Story To Steal VFW Money

Atlanta Lawyer > Atlanta News  > Police: Man Faked War Story To Steal VFW Money

Police: Man Faked War Story To Steal VFW Money

A north Georgia man faked being an Iraq War veteran and Purple Heart recipient to steal money from a Roswell Veterans of Foreign Wars post, according to Roswell police.

Michael Bradshaw, 32, faces theft and false swearing charges.

Post 7583 Commander William Mitiu, an Iraq veteran himself, said Bradshaw was referred to the post by Rep. Tom Price’s office.

“It was told to us he was an Iraq vet, was wounded in Iraq and was looking for assistance, was having a hard time with his benefits and early retirement,” Mitiu told Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik.

Mitiu told Petchenik that Bradshaw’s story seemed to make sense.

“[He] showed a lot of the signs, common signs that you would expect from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and some different traumas,” he said.

Mitiu said he gave Bradshaw about $345, and other members kicked in several hundred more dollars in “good faith.” Several weeks later, he said Bradshaw’s military record became available and it showed a different story.

“Once we saw his discharge papers, that he’d been kicked out in 2001 before 9/11, then we started asking the police for advice,” Mitiu said.

Mitiu said Bradshaw’s story also raised flags when he told other veterans he’d gone to Ranger School at a military base that didn’t have a Ranger school.

“Every penny we raise that doesn’t keep the lights on is going to help these guys out,” he said. “So, when someone is taking those funds, they’re taking it from another soldier and a family that needs that assistance.”

Roswell police said Bradshaw’s alleged scheme should be a wake-up call for other charities and nonprofits eager to lend a helping hand.

“They do need to do a little more background check on the person before they give up their money,” said Officer Lisa Holland.

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