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This man lied about being a war hero to get veteran's benefits and a job


PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (CBS12) — A man who claimed to be a war hero, with years of military service and a long list of awards on his resume to get a city job, turned out to be a fraud, according to Port St. Lucie Police.

Officers arrested 46-year-old Edward Liroff after investigators say he lied on his application for a job as a compliance officer with the City of Port St. Lucie.

The investigation into Liroff began when the City of Port St. Lucie Assistant Director of Neighborhood Services received his application last month.

Authorities said Liroff claimed he served in the U.S. Military from 1998-2004.

Liroff also claimed he was the recipient of:

• Silver Star Medal

• Legion of Merit Medal

• Bronze Star Medal

• Purple Heart Medal (Second Award)

• Air Medal for Valor

• Army Commendation Medal

• Army Achievement Medal

• Good Conduct Medal

• Nation Defense Medal

• Southwest Asia Service Medal

• Kosovo Campaign Medal

• Afghanistan Campaign Medal

• Iraq Campaign Medal

• Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

• Armed Forces Service Medal and Award for Operations Relating Former Rep. Yugoslavia

• Humanitarian Service Medal

• Several Service Ribbon

• Combat Infantryman's Badge (Second Award)

• Combat Medical Badge

• Air Assault Badge

The Assistant Director forwarded Liroff's application to Officer Joseph Byrne, who noticed several irregularities with Liroff's DD214 form.

According to police, Byrne concluded that Liroff never served in the military, received treatment from the Veteran's Administration, fraudulently obtained a Florida Driver's license with Veteran's classification, fraudulently obtained a Florida's Purple Heart vehicle registration, and presented a fake DCD214 document to get a job with the city of Port St. Lucie.

Liroff’s wife is a Navy veteran herself. She comes from a family of veterans, at least three generations.

A relative said she was duped. They said Liroff even went to school events wearing in uniform, posing as a hero. Police say the two have been together for four years and have children together.

Liroff was also getting health benefits, care from the VA Hospital for at least six years. Dan Calloway, a U.S. Army veteran and retired detective sergeant with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, said other people deserve the benefits.

“He is a criminal, that’s what he is,” he said. “No veteran is going to feel good about that. You’re proud of knowing that you serve your country. I’m baffled. How did this man get away with this?”

Liroff is facing charges of uttering forged instrument, unlawful use of uniforms, medals, insignia to gain benefits, and fraudulently obtaining a Florida Driver's License after he tried to secure a job with the City of PSL using a fraudulent DD214 form.

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