A Florida man has been arrested for passing himself off as a “war hero,” going so far as to possess an impressive DD-214 and even Purple Heart License Plates.
46-year-old Edward L. Liroff was arrested on Tuesday for uttering a forged instrument (forgery), unlawful use of uniforms, medals, insignia to gain benefits, and fraudulently obtaining a Florida Driver’s License after he tried to secure a job with the City of Port St. Lucie using a fraudulent DD214 form.
Liroff, who raised red flags after attempting to apply for a local government job in Port St. Lucie, allegedly submitted a DD-214 which seemed too good to be true.
According to the Port St. Lucie Police Department, his alleged awards (earned during sixteen years of nonexistent military service) included:
• Distinguished Service Medal
• Silver Star Medal
• Legion of Merit Medal
• Bronze Star Medal
• Purple Heart Medal (Second Award)
• Air Medal for Valor
• Army Commendation Medal
• Army Achievement Medal
• Good Conduct Medal
• National Defense Service Medal
• Southwest Asia Service Medal
• Kosovo Campaign Medal
• Afghanistan Campaign Medal
• Iraq Campaign Medal
• Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
• Armed Forces Service Medal and Award for Operations Relating Former Rep. Yugoslavia
• Humanitarian Service Medal
• Several Service Ribbon
• Combat Infantryman’s Badge (Second Award)
• Combat Medical Badge
• Air Assault Badge
When one of the local government officials grew suspicious, he contacted veteran and PSL Officer Joseph Byrne, who quickly recognized the DD-214 as a bogus piece of paper.
Upon investigation, Byrne discovered that Liroff was driving with Purple Heart license plates and a “Veteran”-tagged driver’s license, both of which were (erroneously) issued to him by the state of Florida. In addition to the ability to get out of tickets and into sweet parking spaces, Liroff was also receiving treatment from the VA.
The PSLPD reported that Officer Byrne presented his finding to the State Attorney’s Office and secured a warrant for Liroff’s arrest. Liroff was arrested and taken to the St. Lucie County Jail for booking.
After his arrest, Popular Military uncovered that Liroff has been working for the US Naval Sea Cadet Corps’ Palm Beach Division since September, overseeing teen cadets as a Warrant Officer 2.
It is not clear how he obtained his position in the Sea Cadet program but based upon the awards on his uniform, it is possible he forged documents.
Photos of Liroff performing his Cadet officer duties show him getting up close and personal with some of his cadets, wearing his dress uniform, un-earned ribbons and a bizarre set of gold Navy Parachutist wings with a star over them- something not seen in current Navy circulation.
Liroff somehow managed to fool even the United States Navy, albeit their cadet corps.
According to their website, the USNSCC-WPD falls under West Palm Beach-based Navy Operational Support Center in terms of office space an drill purposes.
When spoken to on the phone, the installation commander -despite refusing to identify himself- insisted that the cadet group was no longer associated with the NOSC and that the matter would be looked into at once.
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