Sunday, 14 July 2013 06:56

A Hardin County, Kentucky, man pleaded guilty in United States District Court Friday before District Judge John G. Heyburn II, to charges of pretending to be an officer of the United States, wire fraud, making false statements or representations, and entering government property under false pretenses for the purposes of committing a felony.

Jonathan Wade Short, age 23, despite being a civilian with absolutely no record of service in the armed forces of the United States, admitted to falsely impersonating a United States soldier for a period between March 8, 2012, until December 7, 2012.

Short met the daughter of a retired member of the armed forces on a social networking site where he falsely claimed to be a highly decorated solider, who had been on mulitple deployments and had received high military honors.  When the two met in person he was dressed in complete Army Combat Uniform wearing several badges.  While in the areas of Daviess and Hardin Counties he also demanded and obtained financial benefits and discounts entitled only to current and former members of the armed forces of the United States.

Between October 6, 2012, and approximately November 16, 2012, in Hardin County, defendant Short,  repeatedly ask his friend to send him money under the false premise that he needed money to help defray the expenses related to his son’s emergency medical treatment at Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville. Short actually had no son who was ill or hospitalized.  In fact, he demanded the money in order to exploit the belief that he was a noble soldier in a desperate family and financial situation.  During the two month period she was gave Short nearly $1,000.

After Short admitted that he was not a solider and that he solicited money from her based on false pretenses, he refused to return the solicited funds.

If convicted at trial, Short faced a possible combined maximum term of 23 years in prison, a combined maximum fine of $500,000 and a ten year term of supervised release.  Sentencing is scheduled for September 15,  at 1:00 pm, in Louisville, before Judge Heyburn.





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