Where There Is Smoke There Is Fire

The military depends on the honesty and integrity of its’ servicemembers, and as it has been written on this site, it is expected.  “I tried to correct my fraud, so I’m innocent of it.” This was essentially the claim of William Morronne, Jr. thanks to his attorneys, and what follows is a troubling story for several reasons.  Apparently, the guy was originally in the Army over 20 years ago as HIMSELF, but got kicked out dishonorably.  Deciding that he should be in the Army regardless of being dishonorably discharged, he took the birth certificate and credentials of his brother and used them in order to enlist in the Army under his brother’s name.  And there he stayed, for 25 years, jumping out of airplanes, getting paid, getting married, buying cars, getting hurt, etc.  I can’t tell from the story what it was that ended up getting this guy caught.  Was it the IRS letters sent to the brother’s name asking him why he didn’t declare the income on his taxes, or was it triggered by him perhaps filing for disability pay for the bad back and PTSD he claims he got as a result of serving (that would be made payable to, who, his brother)?  One has to wonder if the PTSD is real, since so much else wasn’t?

This is a wild story, for sure.  I mean, I don’t think I’d take kindly to learning that someone took my identity and decided to profit financially from it by getting money from the Federal government that technically didn’t belong to either of us.  The REAL Gerald (that is William’s fake identity of his real brother) had his name and social security number used by his brother in order to get what he felt was being withheld from him from the service, I guess. William apparently did this (false statements and fraud) because he couldn’t get back into the Army by any other means.  I’m not sure where this comes from, that gross sense of entitlement that seems to be making it to the headlines more and more (check out yesterday’s Washington Post front pager on the epidemic of “military brass, behaving badly”  and generally thinking that they are above the rules and laws.  I guess some people need to be burned before they realize that hot stoves shouldn’t be touched.

William’s attorneys are an interesting bunch.  They asserted that their client was not guilty, because he TRIED to correct the situation but that the Army wouldn’t let him.  Wait!  Did they really try to use a defense of “I told the Army that I joined fraudulently using my brother’s name, and asked them to correct my fraud, but since they didn’t do it like I asked them, I shouldn’t be held accountable?”  Huh?  That was MY sentence written, not a quote from any story, but here is one that was written: ” Morrone’s lawyers contended that he tried several times through his career to get his identification corrected, but the Army never followed through.”  Never followed through?  THAT is the problem.  That an attorney would try to deflect the blame for the actions of their client onto another party, is appaling.  William valiantly tried to have the Army change his credentials over to his real ones to somehow make it right?  William, you were kicked out for what you did prior, which were YOUR actions.  There wasn’t supposed to be any “going back”.  Maybe the legal system would make things seem more like actual justice if they encouraged the same thing as written on the back of many parking tickets: you can “admit”, “deny”, or “admit with explanation”.  When people just flat out lie about things that are easily proveable, it clogs the system, fattens the pockets of unscrupulous attorneys (of which many judges used to be), and adds to the distrust that citizens have of it.

He also got caught committing BAH fraud for failing to disclose that his wife no longer lived with him (they divorced).  As soon as you no longer have the person residing with you, regardless of whether or not you ever divorce, you are supposed to notify command in writing of the change with the appropriate form. More HERE.  He is paying that back, according to the story.

Another writeup of the story can be found by clicking HERE.

admit no evil

23 thoughts on “Where There Is Smoke There Is Fire

  1. In The Stack

    People are usually busy trying to get justice in the courtroom that they arent thinking that they have to be concerned with the games a lawyer or a judge might be playing. When all is said and done- the only true LAW is God’s law.

  2. Elba4

    I am definetly in favor of them publishing information that consumers should have about the lawyer they are considering hiring. Forget about the billboards! I want to know who has had good things and bad things to say about how you behaved.

  3. Pulman Proper

    If people had any idea just how many attorneys were themselves lying in order to simply WIN, they would lose faith in our legal system entirely. Oh, that’s right, that is already happening.

  4. Luther is King

    There is a big difference between someone who tells lies and someone who tells lies in order to commit fraud. If you lie, that’s your business. But if you lie in order to get away with something, then it’s everyone else’s business.

  5. Ev Hamil

    Until that statement “under penalty of perjury” is enforced publicly, people will continue to push the envelope and see what they can get away with.

  6. Pure and Simple

    And that is why people don’t trust the legal system. People who muddy it with false allegations and bogus cases have helped to make it the cesspool that citizens think it is. There is court justice and then there is street justice. Only one of them has a level playing field.

  7. Metz is Free

    Not guilty? How, and on what planet? What happened to the day when the word GUILTY meant that you knew you did something, and NOT GUILTY meant that you could prove that you didn’t?

  8. Hopkins fan

    There is no correcting that fraud, only making amends for it. What idiot would believe that he didn’t do what he did do for almost 20 years? You can’t say you didn’t know that your paycheck was payable to someone else, that your car titling was an accident, and that the BAH you got every month after your wife and you split wasn’t noticed by you. No- you knew good and well each and every paycheck.

  9. It's Pitt baby

    I can’t imagine what the HR department would have said to his request to try to correct his name and identity. They had to have thought he was just crazy to have asked. That he had jumped out of one too many planes.

  10. MangoMom

    Someone who lies that much should be left to fend for their alleged disorder all by themselves. Who would be able to tell if he was being genuine or not, since he lied about damn near everything else. I guess he did think he was going to get away with it.

  11. The Chameleon

    I just think it’s so interesting that the military, which is so concerned with the notion of protecting, can’t seem to keep track of the people it has working for it. That these lies went on for so many years undetected, is really just preposterous. They can’t even protect themselves.

    1. Behary

      There are so many people in the service that it makes it difficult to check after everybody. That’s how something like this can go on without any one knowing. The majority of people do not do these kind of things.

  12. David S

    People lie all the time in courts and are only concerned with trying to get what they want. I’m not surprised when I hear that a lawyer has stretched the truth.

  13. KHM

    Where most people get it wrong is in thinking that a court of law is a place where one would actually get justice. Lawyers who will lie to the court for their client are only concerned about the money they are getting and their reputation for being a winner (at any cost, including the sale of their soul). Wasn’t there a movie about an entire firm who had sold their souls?

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