A Wisconsin man has been faking being a disabled Marine for years.
John Hemphill has been parading military service, stating that he lost his leg in Iraq while trying to help a child. He didn’t show for court after being charged with misdemeanor crimes for financial gain faking military service.
He was due in court October 24th but sent an attorney in his stead.
“He probably thinks he can beat this too because he still doesn’t believe he did anything wrong,” predicted ex-wife Sheila Joe. “I doubt if he shows because he is a coward.”
Hemphill claims he’s been a Marine for 22 years and even went as far as getting USMC-affiliated tattoos, dog tags, and a prosthetic leg. Somehow he was able to get official military license plates on his vehicle as well, and added his fake rank to his bank statements and bills, “Lieutenant John Hemphill,” as reported by Fox 6 after their investigation.
Hemphill wooed his girlfriend turned wife Sheila Joe-Hemphill with stories of his service, she even went as far as getting his name and rank tattooed as a dog tag on her forearm.
“He sold us a sad story,” said Sheila’s daughter, Regina Davis. “He was in the Iraq war and he was helping a little kid and so they happened to walk across a bomb. And that’s what happened to his leg.”
One day a family member of Hemphill’s told his wife Sheila the truth, that he was he was never in the military and soon after filed for divorce.
“The whole marriage was based on a fraud,” Sheila said. “People have died for this country. They have served. He hasn’t done anything.”
Fox 6 news enlisted the help of the organization Fake Warriors Project; they requested paperwork from Marine Corps manpower. The Marine Corps didn’t have a record of Hemphill serving.
The news report showed that Hemphill received a military ID when he joined the American Legion, enabling him to get discounts on his cellular bill and other places.
Turns out Hemphill is a convicted felon, Fox 6 reports. He robbed a pizza delivery man in 1990, put his fists through the window of a car during an argument in 1994 and stole $8,000 worth of jewelry in 2012.
“He’s a disgrace,” Sheila told Fox 6.
Wisconsin recently passed a law that says anyone lying about military service, awards earned, or if those lies lead to financial gain, they will be prosecuted.
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