New Mexico faker about to go back to federal prison

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New Mexico faker about to go back to federal prison

Slow news day today, but Stolen Valor, like rust, never sleeps.

Lying about your military career is stupid.

Lying about your military career to puff up your commercial enterprise is both illegal and stupid.

Lying about your career, then starting a business to work with law enforcement, and making videos with you handling guns when you are a convicted felon is stupid on a level I'm not even sure how to quantify.

But, here's Anthony Gambino, the most brazen imbecile in New Mexico:

Now the video is from last year, and there was an article about it then that gave some more facts:

A 43-year-old local man was arrested last week on allegations he told an undercover agent that he was a former Marine and Purple Heart recipient who could provide combat training to a fictitious Middle Eastern company created as part of a federal sting operation.

The federal government alleges that Anthony Lee Gambino, formerly known as Anthony Lee Martinez, is a convicted felon who was drummed out of the U.S. Marine Corp. when military officials discovered he enlisted using his brother's name, according to a criminal complaint.

Well, there is that "innocent until proven guilty thing" so maybe.....oh wait, he pled guilty yesterday:

A Farmington man has pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of being a felon in possession of firearms and claiming he was a combat veteran who earned medals and ribbons, including a Purple Heart.

Anthony Gambino, 44, admitted during Tuesday's hearing that he was in possession of six firearms and ammunition when he was arrested on May 12 and that he fraudulently claimed to be a recipient of a Purple Heart and the Marine Corps Combat Action Ribbon, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release.

Gambino — formerly known as Anthony Lee Martinez — was charged on May 12 in federal court on the firearms charge and with violating the Stolen Valor Act of 2013 by falsely claiming a decoration or medal to obtain money, property or other tangible benefits, according to the criminal complaint.

Now normally I wouldn't be as excited about one of our phonies going to jail as I am right now, but there's a back story here.  There are about 10 different groups that hunt the Stolen Valor perpetrators.  And there are literally THOUSANDS each year that get investigated to one degree or another.  And probably 300 of them get written about.  Now there used to be even more of us doing this, but what happens is that we all get threatened with lawsuits, and most of the guys doing this do it on their own time, and receive no money for it.  So when you do something for the good of your fellow veteran, and then you end up getting sued and having to pay thousands of dollars for lawyers on what always turns out to be a meritless case, people lose heart.  I don't blame them.  If I didn't have such a great employer, I'd have quit a long time ago too.

But Jonn Lilyea has been doing this a LONG time, and he wrote about Gambino last year.  And, just like clockwork, in came the threat, in the form of a facebook comment:

As Dave Hardin notes over at This Ain't Hell today:

He did manage to followup with this letter:

This is a letter to inform you that I will be obtaining your information and sueing for Libel. We have already took pictures of your artical ,comments, etc. One must reseach things before printing damaging and false information. KRQE is in the same situation. Gambino Security Corporation was not a fraud and media cost millions of damage. Thank you for your time and i hope in your future your organization is more careful as libel is a crime. Sincerely, Anthony Gambino

Gambino’s lawyer babbled on about this all being some kind of misunderstanding.  He claimed that all of this was a result of the Governments right hand not talking to its left hand.  We had no idea what that meant then and still don’t now.  What we did know was that Gambino got thrown out of the Marine Corps because of a fraudulent enlistment and he had made claims of military awards that he was using to promote himself and his business.

So you'll excuse me if I dance a little jig in my office as Mr. Gambino heads off to his cot and three hot meals.  Between this and my Patriots pulling off the unimagineable comeback, this has been quite a week for me.  Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket.

Posted in the burner | 20 comments
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Would love to see someone go after Mick Strider (not his real name) of Strider knives for stolen valor. He made a LOT of money and built his business on him and his partner being Rangers when neither were and Mick didn't even finish his first enlistment before being thrown out. They profited from their lies which should be enough to crush them.


Like the Chief said: "Time wounds all heels..."

It seems like there is a diminishing level of civility on the web site. Both republicans and democrats serve in the military. We are all Americans, Veterans and Patriots. Our entire society has become pretty mean and intolerant from the left and the right. I think that the Legion would be well served trying to raise the bar with more civil discussion. We are on the same team, we are all Americans.

I do agree that web civility has done a nose dive & it's frustrating to talk with an uneducated numb-nut these days, but I don't agree we should soft-peddle this. This is a crime. An offense against my Country & my fellow citizens. Vigilance, against all enemies, foreign, & domestic-including fraudulent claims that shame our Country-(especially to enhance one's standing in American society) is our responsibility, not only as vets/soldiers, but as citizens. As we are ( Honorably) discharged, our DD 214 says we are 'released from ACTIVE Duty'. This is because some of us had critical-need MOS's & our experience may be required & we'd be recalled. Doesn't say we get to forget our service, or our oath to serve, 'Thanks a lot for your years of service & here's a watch', none of that. We're 'on call' until we just get too danged old! Best Regards MMc

My older brother is the same way.Silver star award and a lot of claims..Needs to be taken down..Guy H Mullen Vernon,Ct..

The Bastard needs to be convicted and sent to jail......For a Long time, no longer than that!!!!!!!

Great work catching another fraud. I agree with John Covert. Hating and demeaning a Brother in Arms or any American Citizen for their political party is dividing and not Uniting us against our real enemies.#Risethebar

guess someone who enlists using their brother's name does so either b/c they have a prior record, or they're too young. or they're crazy:) or some combination of all 3! back in the day we had folks enter the service young & we just looked the other way, but i doubt that happens now! interesting that he had done other fishy things prior to the stolen valor - is it that way for most of these stolen valor criminals? that stolen valor isn't their first crime - or do some go from completely law abiding to claiming military honors they don't have? sorry if that's an "FNG" question:)

Glad he got caught and prosecuted. Just shows how well, or not, that law enforcement investigates its "business partners". Lots of cops out there with stolen valor too. Let's catch them next. Then let's get the guys who have medals but didn't actually earn them like Bronze Stars in Iraq for getting your paperwork done on time in a "combat zone", or the Purple Hearts for breaking an ankle while drunk at an FOB while playing XBox.

Make him work in a VA hospital for an extended period of time.

Anthony, I AM a vet of the Vietnam war and may you rot!

I am a PUFL Member. Falsely claiming to a drinking buddy (when you are both soused) that you are an honored veteran is not ethical; but it should be legal. Most drunks tell lies at the bar. However, using such a claim to generate a benefit (social or financial) should be a MAJOR CRIME. Such a crime should be punished to the max.

Was in Iraq for a year with my National Guard unit ... we served under the Big Red One, 1st Infantry Division. I cannot speak for our active duty counterparts, but the upper echelon in my unit awarded Bronze Stars to higher-ranking soldiers and/or their "favorites" who contributed very little to the mission, nontheless to the moral and welfare of the troops. Example: our E8 went outside the wire twice during our deployment ... once to go to another compound with the commander, which was an uneventful convoy drive of less than an hour ... and the second trip was to go home on leave. Deserving of a Bronze Star? I think not.
Now then, we had a captain who went outside the wire almost weekly to accomplish our mission, support our enlisted, younger soldiers AND put in more time and work towards our unit production, but received a "lesser-grade" medal ... really?
All in all, several soldiers in our unit received a Bronze Star for doing the bare minimum of what was expected from them, the bare minimum of being a united player of a Guard unit deployed to a war zone.

"valor" can't be stolen, only the rewards or recognition of it. Seems like those who reward or recognize valor should be more careful about their actions, so that the a**holes don't benefit.

They don't all smell like crap, but nevertheless are crapheads!

I'm still awaiting the release of all of John Kerry's military medical records. It's all relevant.

While we all agree that what this man did was deplorable, the way I see the men who commented attacking each other, as well as other Veterans, has me shaking my head. If we can't treat each other with respect and honor, then who are we?

Wanna bees are all are trying to be something they ain't, is a felony!@

Funny, after Vietnam you would not see people like this claiming to be "decorated" heroes. It was an unpopular war. Idiots like this would be the ones protesting our returning heroes. Now our military folks are returning as well respected and well regarded. Those that stepped up to plate when their country called. So the same idiots that once would have spit on our vets instead figure to jump on the bandwagon and take advantage of the respect due our heroes. Instead of 3 meals and a cell, these people should be placed in a perpetual bootcamp overseen by Marine and Army DIs, but run kind of like the old chain gangs with a focus on doing constant community service.

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.