‘Former Marine’ Arrested for False Purple Heart Application and Fraud

| September 2, 2023

The internet lit up like a Christmas tree yesterday with stories of Paul John “PJ” Herbert, 52, of Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts as he now faces one count of theft of government money and one count of making false statements. These charges could land him up to 15 years in prison if he’s found guilty.

Former Marine Arrested for Stealing More than $344,000 in Government Benefits and Submitting False Purple Heart Application to the United States Marine Corps Through His Local Congressman
US Attorney’s Office, District of Massachusetts | September 1, 2023

BOSTON – A former United States Marine has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Springfield, Mass. for allegedly stealing benefit payments from the Department of Veterans Affairs and submitting a false Purple Heart application to the United States Marine Corps through his local Congressman.

Paul John Herbert, 52, of Shelburne Falls, Mass., was indicted on one count of theft of government money and one count of making false statements. Herbert was arrested this morning and was released on conditions following an initial appearance today in federal court in Springfield, Mass.

“Mr. Herbert’s alleged conduct is an affront to every veteran who has sacrificed to earn the honor of a Purple Heart and who is deserving of disability benefits. According to the indictment, he not only stole tens of thousands of dollars in disability benefits that are supposed to be used to help veterans in need, but he also falsely claimed to have suffered a traumatic brain injury during his deployment in an effort to receive a Purple Heart he didn’t deserve,” said United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy. “Every day, thousands of brave members of the military selflessly risk their lives to protect our country. Stealing from our country’s veterans or claiming valor where there is none is an insult to the honorable service members who sacrifice for our safety.”

“The VA Office of Inspector General remains committed to ensuring that VA benefits are administered to deserving recipients based on legitimate accounts of their military service,” said Christopher Algieri, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General (VA OIG) Northeast Field Office. “The VA OIG thanks our partners at the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for their efforts in this joint investigation.”

“Individuals who steal veterans disability benefits and falsely represent themselves as decorated veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces degrade the service of the men and women who selflessly serve our country,” said Patrick J. Hegarty, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), Northeast Field Office, the law enforcement component of the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General. “Today’s charges demonstrate our commitment to work with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General and the Department of Justice to investigate allegations of stolen military benefits.”

According to the indictment, from Jan. 1, 2010 to March 11, 2023, Herbert stole more than $344,000 in veterans disability benefits. In addition, on Oct. 24, 2018, Herbert allegedly submitted an application for a Purple Heart award to the United States Marine Corps through his local Congressman, in which Herbert falsely stated that he had suffered injuries, including traumatic brain injury, from a roadside explosion while deployed to Northern Iraq.

The charge of theft of government money provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. The charge of making a false statement provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

Acting U.S. Attorney Levy, VA-OIG SAC Algieri and DCIS SAC Hegarty made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven H. Breslow of the Springfield Branch Office is prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Word spread quickly…

It is true that I did not attend nor graduate law school, but I have a wealth of experience practicing barracks law, which makes me qualified to argue the fine points of the Constitution as well as many nuances of jurisprudence. In addition, I have incorporated the term “pursuant to” in much of my daily language to give myself street cred.


While I certainly don’t sympathize with “PJ” I do find it odd that he can be held accountable for Stolen Valor via a false statement on an application. It could be argued that the application can simply be denied. After all, if they had found someone obtained PH plates by using a false claim on their application, they simply recover the plates… if they even do that.

The difference is that the DAs and LEOs seem to get excited when money is involved, and perhaps that is justified.

Oh well, “PJ” pled not guilty, so I imagine he has a perfectly good explanation. *cough*  My money is on the PT of the SD fogging his memory.

BUT, here’s the kicker for the TAH community: the Attorney General’s office refers to Herbert as a “former United States Marine” which implies he is only lying about a Purple Heart. I wonder when they realize there is more to it?  We get to watch this all play out unless someone wants to alert the Massachusetts AG office.

You all have come to know there is more than just the cherry on top. The rest of the world just has to merely catch up to that fact.

Category: Air Force Poser, Marine Corps Poser, Purple Heart, Stolen Valor, Stolen Valor Act, Valor Vultures

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Daisy Cutter

PJ should start wearing those pajamas with the trapdoor in the back – to set the tone if he goes to prison.

Green Thumb

Nah, not so much.

This clown looks like he wants it in his mouth.

Daisy Cutter

I’m told they are also called “Flap Jacks.”

Daisy Cutter

“Flap Jacks” = turn them over when they are finished with one side.


You don’t see it as much as you used to. Kids walking around with their pants around their ankles. It started in prison as advertising.


Homies don’t find being “receptive” cool when they find out.


What is the USMC MOS for Air Force Reserve? I can’t seem to find it. This guy is a complete and thorough lying sack of shit!


He was a space marine before they even had such things. Kind of like this special forces guys who are special forces before they even had such a thing.

Hack Stone

They are “special” in a “special” kind of way. They always ride in the short assault vehicle.


Wow. Great links.
This crap has been brewing for over 2 years.

1 nagging question…
IF others (including gov’t) can dig up his ballpark service dates,
why can’t they get the branch right?

Nuggets of gold at the linked Daily Beast article,
including a link to this.
I just spit up my coffee,
and about to shit a solid gold brick,
yes, because of the SIX (6) photos
of Phony Marine jacket P.J. with his “Service Dog”.

11/10/2017 [Stories of service: P.J. Herbert of Shelburne Falls]


From the Daily Hampshire Gazette link above…..

[Herbert’s first two tours were in Iraq during the early 90s and the Gulf War. He was a counterintelligence specialist whose job it was to search for and analyze enemy documents, including searching prisoners he knew could be armed and dangerous. 
“After a while you’re there, even women and children you couldn’t trust,” Herbert said.

In his second tour, Herbert was in northern Iraq providing security services to the embattled Kurds around the time
“when Saddam Hussein was gassing them,” he said.
Traveling through the mountains of northern Iraq,
Hebert and a group of British Royal Marines hit a roadside bomb.
>>>>> He is the only survivor of that explosion.<<<<<
He doesn’t remember much from the attack,
and has brain damage from it, but what he does remember comes back to him decades later.]

Yes, there’s MORE (BS) after this.

[He was an officer in the Buckland Police Department after the military,
but had to leave his job because of the worsening brain injury,
arthritis and a herniated disc
— all related to combat.]


Brain injury and a background check and off you go….


Medical excuses brought about by….?

  • Shitty police performance
  • Shitty police behavior
  • Shitty off duty behavior
  • Lying on the police department job application

(Remember Clyde,TX PD LeRoy Foley for Sheriff ??)

  • Lying on duty

Anyone can add to the list of possibilities.
You know, in case I missed something obvious.


In the linked article he claims his youngest son is a Marine. I wonder what happens when his son realizes his father’s Marine war stories are BS.


Distance and estrangement.
Forced distance when Dad reports to prison.

Not to mention (but I will),
anything Dad may have had to leave for his child(ren)
when he croaks, that’s all gone, too.


PJ’s Inn of the Linked.
More comedy gold here.
[AboutA patriot, leader, law abiding citizen and Marine!!!!]


Green Thumb

Phil Monkress needs to get Lori Benton spun up ASAP.

All-Points Logistics cannot sit on the side of the road and let this type of talent pass.

Hell, maybe Alaska Bob will pick this guy up….

Skivvy Stacker


Well, he earns that distinction that is the rarest of all things under the kingdom of God…the appellation of EX-United States Marine, with such an under handed, low load, fuck stick, little dick mother fucking shit load of whale cum maxi-tit, shit ass cunt sucking, piss drinking, fart breathing, dead-rotting pussy smelling shit fuck ass butt hole surfing dirt baggery that his mother couldn’t even love he’s fucked beyond GOD’s Love ass licking really punk toodely doody oh.
And a really naughty guy….that I’m really kinda ticked off at him…………..so, there!


He’s not even an EX-United States Marine. Ex-USAF and Ex-USAFR.


It’s the bain dramage. It’s why he can’t recall which service he was in or how he did four tours in Iraq in the 90s

Hack Stone

Cut him some slack. Hack Stone is wonderful how The Doobie Brothers are on yet another farewell tour after Hack caught their first farewell tour in the summer of 1981.

Hack Stone

Hack Stone is wondering…

And Hack Stone is wonderful, per Hack Stone.


It may have been 1982, at least that was what the 1983 album said. I caught their farewell tour in 1998. The French say that to say goodbye is to die a little. The Doobie Brothers should be DAF.

President Elect Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH Neande

What a WONDERFUL command of the English language! R Lee would be proud! This should be compared to The ASS-teroid of Insults, duplicates removed, and the rest of The Good Stuff incorporated into The ASS-teroid of Insults. Bravo! Well done!

Brought a smile to my face and a tear to my eye. Sheer fookin poetry!


DAAAYUUM!, Skiv, don’t hold back, tell us how you REALLY feel in re the lying sockcuking, lying, thieving, POS John Paul Herbert. It’s almost like you took it personal that this worthless waste of oxygen, John Paul Herbert, laid claim to being one of Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children instead of him being a wing wiping sorry excuse for a human being. This attention whore should have known better than to stand on the bodies and in the blood of Warriors. Nothing is more despicable!

I had planned on calling for a FIRE MISSION FIRE MISSION FIRE MISSION Deployment of the Vaunted TAH As(s)teroid of Insults on Valor Thief John Paul Herbert, but after reading your astute listing of descriptive adjectives, we’ll take your mini AoI as a motion, we’ll count the praise and complement from Tox as a SECOND (he did mention the AoI) and I will add a rousing BZ for your comment as an AYE!

ChipNASA, quit your mooning over OAM and standby. You are cleared HOT!


The faux-satin jacket is a dead giveaway. He doesn’t have his Parris Island, Camp Geiger, or Camp Lejeune scrolls on the sleeve.

Every good boot knows you need those scrolls to pick up some tail at the Lucky Lady before you take her back to the Triangle Motor Inn…

A Proud Infidel®™

Maybe he’s waiting for “Alaska Bob” to bring his Service Records up? They’re cut from the same cloth, now he has shower dates to look forward to eith Bubba, Thor, Julio and “Tiny Tyrone” to look forward to as well!


Just fucking screams boot on top of it all.


The REAL question: How the hell did he get into the Marine Corps League?


Dave W

So how did he get caught and what are his real awards? Did he actually apply for a Purple Heart and thats what got him caught? If so you are dumb they verify a ton of crap before they will award it. I got a Purple Heart back dated post medical retirement. My congressmen reviewed my medical record and service history. 1) do you have a CAR – check 2) do you have medical treatment – check 3) was the incident reported in country – check 4) witness statements – check. After all this then he submitted it up the chain probably took two weeks.