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Greenwich Samaritans Scammed by Phony Military Vet

GREENWICH, Conn. — A Greenwich man was arrested by warrant Thursday after being accused of swindling a two Greenwich good samaritans out of money while falsely posing as a veteran in need, police said.

For more than a year, Jesus M. Garcia, 20, of 19-12 Armstrong Court, Greenwich, and 484 Van Wyck Lake Road, Hopewell Junction, N.Y., has lied to friends, family and the public, claiming he was an Army Ranger who was combat wounded after serving four tours of duty in Afghanistan, police say.

Military officials confirmed that at no time had Garcia been a member of the U.S. Army. By splitting his time between his two homes, he explained his absences as military related. On Garcia’s Facebook page, he posted several photos of himself in military garb that police said he obtained from recruiters and friends.

Garcia was asked to speak at a Memorial Day ceremony in Greenwich on May 27. Right before the ceremony, Greenwich Police Capt. James Heavey met with Garcia. During the conversation, Garcia gave incongruous information about his time in the service. It became clear that he was a fraud, police said. Garcia then provided an investigating officer with a false name and date of birth. He was arrested that day on a charge of interfering with an officer.

During further investigations of Garcia, police found he had financially swindled two victims while pretending to be a soldier in need of money for medical care and other bills. He was arrested by warrant Thursday on charges of false representation of armed force uniform, fraudulent use of military insignia, felony larceny and misdemeanor larceny. He was released on $2,500 bond and is due in court June 24.

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