FORT WORTH (AP) — A North Texas man who deceived family, friends and government officials into believing he was a U.S. Army brigadier general has pleaded guilty to impersonating a public servant.
Michael Douglas McDowell, who entered his plea Tuesday, also pleaded guilty to bigamy, for marrying a woman while still married to his estranged wife. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports he was sentenced to five years’ probation in each case.
McDowell often wore medals and ribbons, and had a Purple Heart license plate.
Tarrant County prosecutor Joshua Ross says the 57-year-old McDowell “perfected the art of stolen valor.”
McDowell’s ruse came undone when he visited Fort Worth police Chief Jeff Halstead in 2012, offering him a tour of the White House or Pentagon. Halstead became suspicious and asked investigators to check his background.
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