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Man Charged with Using Feigned Purple Heart to Raise Money

US Navy Seabees receive Purple Hearts in a May 2006 ceremony at the Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport, Miss. (US Navy/Ja'lon Rhinehart)
US Navy Seabees receive Purple Hearts in a May 2006 ceremony at the Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport, Miss. (US Navy/Ja'lon Rhinehart)

SAN FRANCISCO -- Federal prosecutors have charged a Northern California man with lying about being a Marine veteran who'd been awarded a Purple Heart and allegedly using the feigned medal to raise money.

The Marin Independent Journal says 68-year-old Gregory Bruce Allen of San Rafael did spend eight months in the Navy in the 1960s but never was a Marine or wounded in battle -- a requirement for receiving the Purple Heart.

The Independent Journal says Marine Corps investigators in San Diego revealed last year that Allen was not the retired Marine lieutenant he'd held himself out to be for about a decade.

The newspaper says Allen used to run a gym called San Rafael House of Steel that was promoted as a place that prepared young people for military service.

His lawyer, Charles Dresow, had no comment on the charge.

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