Tampa Florida – Once again Lattea has shown his face in the Veteran community. He moved to Tampa and started a contracting business called Contracting Services by Veterans. He stayed under the radar for awhile, that is until he offered a Veteran a job and failed to follow through.
He also opened a Facebook page for his business, thinking this would boost it and posted at the top that it was Veteran owned and operated. It wasn’t long before he started asking for money through gofundmes again, for supposed injuries, and for his “service dog”.
People started catching on and finding our article again, as he was posting in every Veteran group he could find asking for help. He lied profusely on the gofundme page about his service and the money the VA was taken for missing drills in 2014, since he wasn’t even in the Army in 2014. With that kind of pay he must have been getting the pay of a General Officer!
After we were notified that he was up to his old tricks again, we re-posted the original story(can be read below)to warn people. He actually came to our facebook page and posted under it to try to defend himself. He posted a DD214, the same one we actually have here in this article, and only strengthened our story. He told us he wasn’t lying anymore. Which we found out wasn’t the truth as seen in the gofundme posted above. You can read that entire thread here – Facebook Thread
Here are some screenshots from that thread:
So of course Michael wants us to go away, because if we go away he can get away with being a con-artist which is what he is good at. In fact he would be relieved if we would just take this story down and it never gets shared again on Facebook, so that the next Veteran he comes across will never hear of how Michael Lattea is a fraud and a fake and likes to take advantage of Veterans. Sorry not happening Michael, this is always going to be here, and I hope every person that reads this shares it with all of their friends, and if it stops just one person from doing business with you then it has accomplished its mission.
UPDATE: 20151026 – Last night we were made aware that Lattea was back on Facebook and was once again weaseling his way into the Veteran community. He now calls himself a “Dysfunctional Veteran” and tries to garner sympathy from the community by claiming PTSD. As we proved below, Lattea never saw combat, he was deployed to Kuwait before he was busted stealing other people’s gear.
In his recent shenanigans he is claiming that this is “old news”, and that the only thing he ever lied about was his rank. I wonder then, where and how he got the CIB with a Star, Air Assault and Airborne wings since the Army states he doesn’t have any of it. Here are screenshots of him from recent convos in Veteran oriented groups where he was “asking for help” and claiming he wasn’t a liar and that you shouldn’t believe everything you hear on the internet, referring to this article.
As you can see in the above screenshots he is still lying, and thinks the Veteran community will buy into it again. He claims he only lied about his rank, and says he did earn the CIB’s. What about all the people you defrauded, telling them you were a multiple tour combat Veteran when you never set foot outside Kuwait.
Just so everyone knows, he did reach out to us awhile back and asked us to remove the posting on him, that he had changed. This is why we never remove anyone’s write-up, he would’ve been able to weasel back in and no one would’ve seen this article, and his fraud. We will update this article as this story progresses as this is currently an ongoing situation.
See the original article below for his full records.
Original Article – We have been getting emails for a while about the legitimacy of the organization called “Ruck For Warriors”. People were concerned that donations they were giving, and money being spent on items they were selling, not being sent to any Veterans organizations.
Well the owner of Ruck For Warriors, Michael Lattea, claimed he was a SSG who served two tours in Iraq. He also sported a CIB(Combat Infantryman’s Badge) with one star, meaning he had to have also seen combat somewhere other than Iraq/Afghanistan to earn his second CIB. He is also claiming Airborne and Air assault as well.
Some of you may have seen him and his Organization in some news articles, where they were covering his ruck’s. Below are some, where he has also been claiming two combat deployments to Iraq.
Below is another article, most of these can be found by doing a Google Search for his name.
According to his DD214, he did serve in Iraq/Kuwait from 20080401-2008125, about seven months, but he did not earn a CIB while deployed! So Mr. Lattea, you are not authorized either one of those badges, you also have not attended Airborne, or Air Assault schools! You are also not authorized the Screaming Eagle patches, you were never assigned to them.
Oh and not to mention you never attained the rank of SSG, according to your records, you were discharged as a PV1. (SEE BELOW)
My friend Scotty over at his Stolen Valor blog also heard of Lattea’s claims and sent for his records. Here is what they returned on Lattea, which also corroborates the above.
The below photo is one he posted to dating site he frequents, again wearing un-earned awards and rank.
This was posted to his personal FB page about the new Stolen Valor act being passed, maybe he should have taken it to heart.
So after seeing all the embellishment’s it just made us curious as to if he was being honest with his Ruck For Warriors gig, and what was happening to all the donations.
First, Michael has a history of committing fraud. We were told he was busted down to Private in Kuwait because he was stealing people’s gear, by several that served with him, so that explains the discharge at PV1. They also told us that he never saw combat, and never left Kuwait, which the combat part is obvious as he never earned a CIB.
He also has several charges, several being for Fraud:
He is also wanted in Indiana for fraud as well, our good friend Craig over at Battle In Distress, as they have been loolking into him for a while.
Here is one thing we found when doing some searching on him:
It was not long after he posted this that he started the Ruck For Warriors idea. It was a good idea, he would ruck march to different areas, and collect donations to bring awareness to PTSD and Suicide among our troops. A cause that is near and dear to my heart. Only one problem, after a while, people began asking questions, including some of those that were helping him with the organization.
Well guess what happens when you call out Michael for misuse of donations he received and wearing unearned awards? The texts below were sent to a female Soldier from one of Michael’s friends after she outed him.
Below is part of a convo between Michael’s Ruck For Warrior’s Facebook page, and a fan. Here he says some of the donations were sent to his landlord.
Michael also tried to use my good friend Boone Cutler, from Tipping Point With Boone Cutler to make him seem authentic. He told people that Boone had verified he was legit through Bulldog1 at Stolen Valor(me). I had never heard of him until this came to light, and Boone has asked me to tell everyone if anyone ever drops his name for any type of verification like this to contact him directly. The same goes for me, if anyone ever tells you we vetted them, feel free to email us and ask.
Well after all this was brought to Michael’s attention by Craig, he decide to shut down the Ruck For Warrior’s Facebook page. The old admin group is still up for now, but the community page, which had more than 10k likes was unpublished. He told Craig that he would turn it over to him, and would back out completely.
This has yet to happen, once Michael found out he was being exposed, he stopped communicating with everyone.
Here is a snapshot of the page before it went down.
This is the last post he made to the page before he took it down:
Below are snapshots of one of the Gofundme pages setup for donations, and his explanation about what they are used for.
Lots of people have come forward in the past couple of weeks about the donations they made to Ruck For Warriors, Statements are being taken and submitted to authorities. Lattea is on probation for previous charges of fraud, and is still wanted on the other charge in Ohio.
Michael your days of defrauding people in the name of our Veterans and troops are over, using PTSD and Suicide to fund your personal life is in my opinion, worse than most of the poser’s on this site.
Also, he removed his personal profile on Facebook before this article went live.
Thanks to everyone that pulled together to put an end to this fraud, Scott from Stolen Valor Offenders andCraig from Battle In Distress. Know that if you try to defraud our Vets, or take advantage of them in any way, we will stop at nothing to stop you.
You just have to love our fans, they continue digging even after we out someone. A fan sent us a link to another lie told by Lattea, here he claims to have been wounded twice by an IED. Not to mention he can not spell Captain and types his rank like the Marines do.
Michael Lattea has been arrested in Woodstock Illinois and being held with no bond for another agency, we are sure this is in reference to his RFW and Stolen Valor charges. We have not yet confirmed what he is charged with, but we will keep you updated.