Michael Lattea, Founder Of Ruck For Warriors, Lies About Service And Commits Fraud(UPDATED)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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UPDATE 20160405 

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.

 

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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”.

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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!

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Gofundme page

 

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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:

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

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New Facebook Profile

 

 

 

 

 

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Lattea in his DV Shirt

 

 

 

 

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Here he claims he can provide proof, he didn’t get out last August, he has been kicked out for years.

 

 

 

 

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People begin to call him out about the CIB he claimed, he won’t respond.

 

 

 

 

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“Just believe shit off the internet” He says, again referring to our article on him.

 

 

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Here he claims the only thing he lied about was his rank, he must’ve forgotten about the two CIB’s he earned.

 

 

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Here he is claiming our article is “old news”, so we figured we would make it new for him.

 

 

 

 

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Here he lies again, claiming he did earn his CIB.

 

 

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.

 

 

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Below is another article, most of these can be found by doing a Google Search for his name.

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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.

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Oh and not to mention you never attained the rank of SSG, according to your records, you were discharged as a PV1. (SEE BELOW)

 

 

DD214 PART1

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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.

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The below photo is one he posted to dating site he frequents, again wearing un-earned awards and rank.

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This was posted to his personal FB page about the new Stolen Valor act being passed, maybe he should have taken it to heart.

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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:

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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.

 

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Here is one thing we found when doing some searching on him:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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This is the last post he made to the page before he took it down:

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Below are snapshots of one of the Gofundme pages setup for donations, and his explanation about what they are used for.

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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.

 

UPDATE:

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.

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UPDATE: 20140412

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.

 

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81 comments on “Michael Lattea, Founder Of Ruck For Warriors, Lies About Service And Commits Fraud(UPDATED)
  1. Some people just don’t need to be called humans, but some people will do anything to make themselves look good!! My father was in the 101st.,he was at the Battle of the Bulge, but he didn’t talk about the war. This guy should have earned a liers emblem. He is the type of man that gives all branches of the service a bad name. I want to say so much more but I can’t, you would have to black it out.

  2. There is a part of me that says we need to deal with this “in house”. I will check back to see if anyone else feels this way and wants to link up. Not anything illegal but he needs some serious wall to wall prior to being turned over. Any other MP’s out there that want to help “find” this guy, hit me up.

    • Michael Lattea… the other name, I do believe…. is a spook Name. I have a google voice # and you can claim to be anyone you want. Area Code anywhere you want… so it might show up California, when the caller is in your state, town… I believe THAT is who that mystery person is.

  3. I live in Indiana. When the news came out with this guy being wanted tor forgery, they said nothing about him being a fraud that was taking money from people in the name of troops that needed help. I think that needs to change. I think Fox59, WTHR13, and Channel 6 need to be informed about what this guy is really up to, so the public here in INDY can help hunt his ass down. I know a lot of soldiers here in the city will get their hackles up over this guy if they know he is doing all this..

  4. What an asshole…. I’m an OIF veteran and that makes me sad that someone would lie about shit that people have lived! Its gods job to judge them, its our job to arrange the meeting! Follow Me!!!

  5. I’m just surprised that he got away with it for so long. Especially a national guard soldier who was doing this in his home area. I can’t believe other soldiers from his unit didn’t see his news stories and out him before this…

      • When someone who did not EARN the title… It’s like offending, the whole pack that has… Current all the way to the inception of Airborne. Many things soon to come…. will just be a toss up of who’s prison he is in first. Indiana or Ohio… since he is on felony 3 probation from Indiana, but under Ohio supervision… I do think he will get to be a common play thing who’s ass hole goes from (o) to ( O ) and maybe while in intake from there to the Ohio Prison where he will spend the rest of his life… it’ll shrink back down a little…. but I am sure he’ll have a nice tattoo of tits on his back before he crosses from one to the other!

        • Due to the evidence we have, most of which could not be posted here due to privacy concerns, we turned this over to the proper authorities. I assure you an investigation is currently underway, as we are in contact with the Investigator at this time. This is now a Federal case, I am sure there will be more to come. We are turning all of our info over to the investigator on Monday morning. A lot more is going on that what is posted here.

          • BullDog1, I hear through the grapevine he has been kicked out of his house in Oak Harbor Mich. since his wife found all this out and has moved in with a female down in florida somewhere. If I hear where/City I will forward it to you, I would love to drive down and pick him up myself for the reward so I could donate it to a veterans charity!

          • Some of my family and a few friends live in Oak Harbor, OH and have seen him recently promoting RFW at local races. Sounds like he’s still in the area.

  6. Umm…This guy is essentailly a con man and a thief. I think his using wounded (PTSD is a battlefield wound) Veterans for his own benefit is completely wrong and that he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, but I am disheartened when I read these comments. Sodomizing, assaulting, and terrorizing him aren’t American values I cherish and wishing these things upon another human being isn’t patriotic at all.

  7. Lattea is just trying to get a piece of the WWP pie. They are doing the same thing legitimately but stealing the money nevertheless. It’s sad that you can’t just set up a meaningful charity based on your own record-however slim. You do not have to walk the walk to help Vets. You don’t need a gimmick or a hook to bring them in. Fisher House succeeds because they provide something tangible to Vets. When you’re being glued back together after an IED that takes your limbs, you wife/parents/girlfriend need to be near you. They don’t have time to run from the ARC to the United Way to try to get funds for a Motel 6. WWP hands you a backpack and a t shirt and says “Go see the VA for that gas card or a cel phone, dude.And we don’t do hotels, either” True charities are obvious. They help and you can see the help.

  8. Hey my name is Paul Schmidt I would like to say unfortunly I lived with mike for a long time and was there when he started this RFW I didn’t think at the time he would do all of this and wish I had put a stop to it not for him but for the ppl tha have been scammed or hurt from this I am truly sorry and if u need any info about mike contact me at 4197074183 once again I am truly sorry

  9. Robert,

    That would probably be a very bad idea. You say “not anything illegal”, but “wall to wall” infers you intend on committing an assault upon this man…which is illegal. If you were a trained and competent law enforcement officer, you’d know that. I strongly suggest you restrict your involvement to overzealous internet trash talking. Dave is right, you don’t have any jurisdiction over this guy as an MP because he is no longer in the Army (and at that, he was in the Guard when he was in); even if you did, you’d have to be “on duty” as you do not retain any legal authority when you are off duty…you are not a cop, sorry. Leave this to the the detective who is working the fraud case who knows what he is doing and doesn’t need any interference. Perhaps you should also think before posting such nonsense in the future.

    Signed,
    A former MP

    • Thank you, Robert, for being the voice of reason here. This guy will get what is coming to him. We are either a country of laws, or we are not. I support the law, and law enforcement.

  10. Robert,

    That would probably be a very bad idea. You say “not anything illegal”, but “wall to wall” infers you intend on committing an assault upon this man…which is illegal. If you were a trained and competent law enforcement officer, you’d know that. I strongly suggest you restrict your involvement to overzealous internet trash talking. Dave is right, you don’t have any jurisdiction over this guy as an MP because he is no longer in the Army (and at that, he was in the Guard when he was in); even if you did, you’d have to be “on duty” as you do not retain any legal authority when you are off duty…you are not a cop, sorry. Leave this to the the detective who is working the fraud case who knows what he is doing and doesn’t need any interference. Perhaps you should also think before posting such nonsense in the future.

    Signed,
    A former MP

  11. Wasn’t that long ago that he had a gofundme.com account set up to help pay back rent and cable bill, as well. he was asking for over $3000. When they rucked to Cleveland, I bent over backwards to get them help, even sending a dear friend out at nearly midnight b/c they were begging for water. When she picked them up, some crude and vulgar comments were made, and after they got to a hotel Mr. Lattea went on the page throwing a fit b/c he couldn’t get served a beer.
    I come from a family with a military background and a strong sense of patriotism, so what this man has done makes me clear sick. My Facebook groups will never be associated with him or his cause again, and I hope I never see him face-to-face, cause words I don’t like to use would probably fly out of me mouth.

    • Amy do not let this bipeds bs stop you from following your heart, just take it as a lesson to be more careful…AND check out ratings of charities at charity watch groups, if you have issues you can also flag them there…Thanks for trying to do the right thing!

  12. This man was seen with a RFW booth this fall at a local festival in Oak Harbor, Ohio…last known he was still in that area…come get him!!!

  13. there’s no sense in physical violence as karma will catch up with this f*cktard soon enough. I shake my head in disappointment while reading a lot of the articles posted here, obviously not at the site as they do a tremendous job of bringing these ‘people’ to light, but at how men and women who have served feel the need to embellish their service records. I served 5.5 years and was discharged medically, was deployed once (was set to go for 4 different deployments but all were cancelled) I’m proud of what I did for my country as i’m sure most of you are. The people who do this sort of thing are greedy and selfish, or perhaps have some sort of psychological need for recognition they can’t adapt from their own experiences unless they hear it day in and day out. Keep up the good work G.O.V.!! hahahaha i never realized that the acronym for your site was GOV. ironic?? maybe 🙂

  14. I gave him $535 dollars for his first trip to Cleveland…serious piece of shit.alot of my family has served in the service from ww1&2 and Nam..i know where his last address in this town is ..he better hope j dont find him.

  15. This makes me want to go on a date with him, maybe show him a nice time, slip him some rohypnol (I’m small, and everybody’s doing it) and take his ass straight to the cops, or the guy on here looking for him, building the case. Just have some girl pretend to be stupid and start chatting him up.

  16. You know as a guy that recently got medically discharged from the army for PTSD and TBI, i really take offense to this. Not only did he lie about having injuries from combat but lied about his time in, deployments and rank. This man and what he did should have offended everyone in the military and he is lucky if someone that actually has PTSD and war time injuries doesn’t get their hands on him first. War can do many things to you, especially in your head. There are many out there that have stress and frustration due to combat that would surely take it all out on this worthless bottom feeder looking for handouts from honest hardworking Americans. They need to put him in Leavenworth so that those boys can show him a good time. I feel the same way about him as i do west boro baptist church group. Wasted oxygen,money and space in our great nation from these worthless, backstabbing wannabe Americans.

  17. every dog gets his due, as brothers in arms , men&women, we will always have open hearts & doors to protect each other, fight the fight we who have walked the walk , never talk the talk stay strong, regroup , Nam 68-69 A/1/27 inf rgt 25 ID

  18. I have never (with the exception of the Red Cross) donate to any Charitable Organization especially ones that have advertise on cable/TV for donation and in recent light of the expose on the Wounded Warrior Project I already knew very little of the actual monies goes to the individual serviceman/woman. Perhaps some of you who do donate to these organization will have that feel good moment I suggest try this.. actually go out of your way shake a hand of any Service member (especially WWII Vet and Vietnam Vets) the greatest generation and the unappreciated Vets of Past..buy them a cup of coffee or drink (especially the homeless ones) trust me any prior service member can spot a Vet that spiderman sense kicks in ..you just know. I have done this personally and I get great joy and do what I can no matter how nominal the gesture is.

  19. There are charities out there that provide a lot of good for our veterans and the families of the fallen. I contribute to 3MinutesOut, which is run by JT Tumilson’s family. They send stuff to the troops. I contribute to The Navy SEAL Foundation, which provides educational opportunities for the children of the fallen. And I contribute to the Red Circle Foundation, which provides emergency aid for the families of the fallen. There are a lot of others out there, who have proven records. The Lone Survivor Foundation does a lot to help the veterans suffering from PTS and TBI by by providing a place where they and their families can find some peace, and get help. The Boots Campaign not only aids the veterans, but allows you to buy good boots at a very good price. These are proven charities that you can feel safe in donating to.

    It’s hard, when things like this come to light, and the WWP crap, which is even worse than this guy, in my opinion, because they have been so successful for so many years. But there are people doing legitimate things. And they provide a lot of good.

    I can never be one of the people wishing that this guy were dead or that he had been beaten. I just want him caught. I want him to be forced to admit what he did, and pay the price that society demands. Killing him, beating him up, and any other kind of violent act might be satisfying for a moment, but it doesn’t change anything, and it just violates the laws of our land–the ones that you guys fought so hard to protect; the ones that you guys gave so much for.

    I thank you all so very much for your service. You will never know how grateful I am.

    • you have to understand honest and honorable Veteran have great disdain on ppl who steal valor especially actual veterans who do this by no means we actually act on these threats but its nice to fantasize images of a beat down for such a dishonorable person like him

  20. I was an admin and started a Eco for warrior hawaii chapter. Luckily all those facebook posts you see above came to light. I had large donors and big name events planned. Luckily we still managed to change the donations to the fisher house and aw2. Hope they mail Michael though.

  21. The only concern I have is how does a nonprofit switch hands without proper IRS notification of the EIN number being given to said groups which most are LLC under those names? The other concern I have is that you had the address for this person yet you didn’t turn him to the tip line knowing that he is wanted in connection to fraud. Something sounds afoot in this and smells fishy.

    • As Top said below, you seem to not have read the entire article or your miss-interpreted what you read. We never said we took over the company(it was not a legal one to begin with), we took over the Facebook page. He was never a legal 501c nor an LLC, although he made claims he was. And as far as your other concern, we have turned this over to the proper authorities, they have all the info. Feel free to contact the FBI to verify that. Thanks for your time.

  22. Concerned Citizen, seems you have a problem with reading, so let me help you out.

    1. As stated in the article, rfw was never a non-profit, he lied about that.

    2. They never said they took over rfw, just the facbook page.

    3. They also state it was turned over to the authorities.

    Only thing fishy here, is your reading comprehension.

  23. Many “voices of reason” have already given the sound advice:

    1. Leave it to the legal authorities (MPs you do NOT have jurisdiction).
    a. NO “wall-to-wall” counseling.
    These scumbags are NOT worth YOU going to jail (e.g., for assault).

    2. Justice will be delivered. Be patient. Yes Justice moves slowly.
    Elements of Michael Lattea’s case are different than other imposters (“Thank Goodness crooks are stupid!)

    a. Benefit. Lattea has “obtained” the benefit under fraudulent purposes.
    An investigator will be collecting information –some to be used as evidence–which supports that he committed fraud.

    If he NEVER gave ANY money for the cause that he stated that he raised he’s definitely in trouble.

    “Reimburseable business expenses” incurred in the activities of his “fund raising” are normally authorized.

    3. There is karma. What goes around comes around.

  24. Hey admins I know this story is old, but look at his DD214 again it is wrong. With only 1 deployment in 2008 he can’t have the Expeditionary Medal and the ICM together.

    • You are correct.

      AR 600-8-22 section 2-12 (3) (d) a snippet says this; “No individual will be eligible for both the AFEM and a campaign medal awarded during a single tour in the designated operation. For operations in which personnel of only one military Service participate, the medal will be
      awarded only if there is no other suitable award available to that Service.”

  25. I just pulled his arrest records and incident reports in Marion County, Indianapolis, Indiana and apparently he was a jail house snitch when he was in jail here. He also got robbed outside of a strip club in Indianapolis but the way the incident report reads it sounds like his report was faked. He was arrested for three C felonies for forgery and two D felonies for Theft/Receiving Stolen Property. If the admins of this site would like copies of these records, contact me and I will email them. These are public records that can be obtained at https://www.biz.indygov.org/court_records.html for a small fee, but I’ll be happy to send them to the Admin’s for free!

  26. Todd Crow- DD214 is not wrong… There is one way to get the GWOTEM and the ICM… You have to be stationed in Kuwait and run missions into Iraq during the period stated in the DD214. It’s a unique glitch. Check with Knox, they will verify.
    Bourdaine- Mr. Crow is referring to the GWOTEM not the AFEM.

    Regardless, this guy is a piece of garbage.

    PEOPLE! Please verify your charities before you hand over cash. One look at this guy should have raise questions.

  27. I’ve been watching this occur since 2008. I am the Commander who discharged Mr. Lattae. A small group of us concerned joes have been keeping tabs on this guys since he got booted out. I have more information on him than I have time to list here. As you can probably guess, this guy had a less than stellar military career, for as short as it lasted. He has been scamming people for money ever since. Military has no jurisdiction now (unfortunately).
    I encourage everyone who was harmed by this guys to seek legal justice. If not he’s going to just keep doing the same stuff over and over again. Seeing this happen over and over again just makes me sick to my stomach.

    • http://inmateinfo.indy.gov/IML Major R. as a retired member of the 37th I too have been tracking him or should I say dogging him, the link I posted at the beginning of this post tracks him to Marion Indiana Jail but looks like he has been released and I am trying to track where he may be now.

  28. I bought a wwp sweatshirt believing I did a good thing. I was wrong. Next time I will thoroughly check the charity. I served in the army but was never in combat. I feel nothing but pride and thankfulness for every sacrifice of every soldier. God bless you all!

  29. Ranger – I stand corrected. My reading comprehension failed me, but I did figure before posting that the GWOTEM and ICM can be earned together because of the Kuwait thing, but for some odd reason the AFEM came up when I was looking in the regs. Thanks again.

  30. Wow, reminds me of a person who claimed TBI and won that contest last year for a fully funded dream wedding. Person was never deployed and faked injury. Made me sick and there wasn’t a thing I could do. Why do people do these things? Do they think that they deserve credit for other veterans hard work?

  31. Michael Lattea is the Uncle of MY son, it makes me sad that all of this happened, I helped him out for awhile, but after seeing him crush a Percocet up in front of me, I was done. My son wanted to go into the military because he was inspired and wanted to be a soldier like his uncle, now he thinks he will not be allowed in because of this. (He’s 7) it’s sad, I’m still trying to find a military person to talk to my son about this so he’s not discouraged.

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