Scottsdale man accused of impersonating war hero

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SCOTTSDALE -- Authorities have arrested a Scottsdale man who they say pretended to be a highly decorated Marine. The man allegedly wore a U.S. Marine uniform with ribbons representing the prestigious Navy Cross and Silver Star.

Stolen Valor

Scottsdale man accused of impersonating war hero - Authorities have arrested a Scottsdale man who they say pretended to be a highly decorated Marine, wearing a uniform and ribbons representing the prestigious Navy Cross and Silver Star.

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Representatives from the Arizona Department of Public Safety said 31-year-old John William Rodriguez was booked into Maricopa County jail facing 13 charges of felony fraud schemes.

Rodriguez also may face a federal charge of violating the Stolen Valor Act of 2005, which makes it a misdemeanor to lie about getting a military decoration.

Officials yesterday said Rodriguez received discounts and special treatment as a result of posing as a war hero. They went on to say that for more than two years, Rodriguez regularly appeared at parades and special events honoring military veterans.

It was at a recent event in Phoenix that a retired Marine spotted Rodriguez and was surprised that a man so young had earned so many decorations. The retired Marine made inquiries into Rodriguez's background, which launched an investigation leading to his arrest on Thursday.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)