Accused Marine imposter wanted on federal charge
Associated Press Writer
DENVER – A man who brought attention to the plight of homeless veterans in Colorado Springs is wanted by the federal government for allegedly lying about being an ex-Marine and decorated war veteran.
Richard Glen Strandlof, 32, faces a charge of false claims about receipt of military decorations or medals, a federal charge that carries up to a year in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Prosecutors Thursday filed the charge and a judge issued an arrest warrant for Strandlof. He had not been arrested by Friday afternoon, U.S. Attorney spokesman Jeff Dorschner said.
Strandlof used the name Rick Duncan when he founded the Colorado Springs-based Colorado Veterans Alliance in 2007, according to an arrest affidavit. As Capt. Rick Duncan, Strandlof was quoted by many media outlets, including The Associated Press, before members of the veterans’ group in May raised questions about his background.
Besides Duncan, Strandlof also used the alias of Rick Pierson, according to the arrest affidavit. Strandloff was a war protester in Reno, Nev., and coordinator for the anti-war group the World Can’t Wait. While in Reno, Slater was part of an effort to bring a Grand Prix race there, according to the arrest affidavit.
A woman who answered a phone for a number listed for Strandlof in Incline Village, Nev., near Reno said it was a wrong number. No number was listed in Colorado Springs.
It was unclear whether Strandlof had retained an attorney.
Gregg Slater, a Lakewood police detective and member of an FBI task force, said that during his investigation, Strandlof said he never served in the military and had made speeches as Capt. Duncan, which were posted on YouTube. Slater said Strandlof said he had “pulled the name Duncan off of the Internet.”
Authorities said Strandlof falsely claimed during some speeches that he lost four soldiers under his command and earned a Purple Heart medal in a bomb attack. During fundraisers with veterans, Strandlof also claimed that he had a brain injury, suffered from post traumatic stress disorder and earned a Silver Star Medal.
When asked at one fundraiser why he wasn’t wearing his medals, Strandlof said wearing them “would appear egotistical,” according to the affidavit.