Photo courtesy PCSO
NEW PORT RICHEY (FOX 13) - A Pasco County man faces felony charges after deputies said he impersonated a military veteran to help him get jobs.
Stephen Lang, 23, was charged with forging military discharge papers, known as a DD-214. Detectives said he then tried to, "gain sympathy from his prospective employer," which were two Pasco pool service companies.
"In one case he showed the owner counterfeit or forged DD-214, which is a a discharge paper... from the United States Military, where he claimed to be a sergeant," said Detective Bruce Cohen.
Cohen said Lang also had Purple Heart license plate on his truck, which can only be obtained by using the same DD-214 form.
Deputies said their investigation started after Lang was arrested in Hillsborough County on unrelated charges. That's when the Florida State Attorney's Office started looking into Lang's supposed military history.
"[A detective called] a major in the Pentagon and a sergeant at MacDill Air Force Base and they both gave us documentation saying that he was never in the military, and that the DD-214 was a false document," Cohen said.
FOX 13 News talked off-camera with Lang's father, who said his son is a "good kid" who regrets making these mistakes. Lang's father said Stephen looks up to his brother, who is an actual Army sergeant.
Stephen Lang may be proud of his brother, but deputies aren't letting him off the hook.