Montana Supreme Court upholds $1.7 million stolen valor ruling

| May 14, 2020

Article posted in its entirety.


The Montana Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a Whitefish businessman who was defrauded of about a quarter-million dollars in a stolen valor case involving a Virginia man.

According to a previous Daily Inter Lake story, in May 2019 a Flathead County District Court jury awarded $1.7 million in damages to Donald W. Kaltschmidt Jr. after finding Laron D. Shannon liable for fraud and negligent misrepresentation in a case involving an oilfield services company in which Kaltschmidt was a silent investor.

Kaltschmidt, who served in the United States Marine Corps, sued Laron Shannon, Elizabeth Shannon and Oilfield Warriors, LLC, in 2014, alleging Laron Shannon had misrepresented himself as an active U.S. Marine. Shannon dressed in Marine Corps clothing when contacting Kaltschmidt at his Whitefish car dealership and claimed to be active in supporting veterans’ causes, when he “never actively served in the United States Marine Corps or in any other military service branch,” according to the lawsuit complaint.

Shannon, who represented himself in last year’s court proceedings, appealed the award, challenging rulings on evidence by the District Court and procedural rulings that ultimately led to the completion of the trial after Shannon left the courtroom in the middle of the first day of the trial due to what he said was a medical emergency.

The rulings on evidence centered around 300 pages of documents Shannon tried to introduce in court a few days before the trial was to begin. Kaltschmidt had tried, without success, to obtain documents from Shannon for more than four years to prove the defendant’s military service.

But the District Court was presented with proof the documents Shannon attempted to introduce into evidence were either falsified or fabricated.

On April 28 the state Supreme Court issued its ruling, stating the District Court had not erred in its decisions in the case.

After the verdict in 2019, Kaltschmidt said “This lawsuit was really about stolen valor.”

Kaltschmidt, the longtime Whitefish businessman who owns the Don K car dealership, said he was alerted to Shannon’s misrepresentation of military service by fellow Marines. No service record could be found for Shannon, according to court records.

“We asked him for a DD214 form; anyone who has served in the military for any length of time would have this,” Kaltschmidt told the Inter Lake last year. “We’ve been asking him to produce documents for five years. He had nothing.”

While Kaltschmidt told the Inter Lake last year the case was more about stolen valor than “about me making a bad business decision,” the lawsuit also detailed his business dealings with Shannon and made allegations of fraud and related counts. Shannon approached Kaltschmidt more than five years ago about establishing a company to clean oil and gas drilling rigs and related equipment in the oil fields of North Dakota and Eastern Montana. Shannon’s business plan was to preferentially hire veterans for the business venture, according to court records.

Relying on Shannon’s representations, Kaltschmidt invested $250,000 in the enterprise, to be named Oilfield Warriors, LLC in exchange for a 25% share in the company. But within months, Kaltschmidt’s investment was largely dissipated, no revenue had been generated by the company, employees had filed complaints against the company, and, disconcerting to Kaltschmidt, he had received reports that Shannon was not a former Marine. After obtaining confirmation that Shannon had not served in the U.S. Marine Corps, Kaltschmidt initiated court proceedings in 2014.

“The philanthropic aspect of hiring veterans was the only reason that Mr. Kaltschmidt was interested in the venture,” the complaint stated.

At some point during the spring of 2014, Kaltschmidt learned Oilfield Warriors had spent roughly $175,000 in two months but had not cleaned a single rig or piece of equipment, the lawsuit stated. It further alleged that unbeknownst to Kaltschmidt, Shannon established JD Services and Hire America’s Finest at or about the same time as the formation of Oilfield Warriors, both companies that competed actively with Oilfield Warriors.

Kaltschmidt’s lawsuit claimed Shannon committed constructive fraud, actual fraud, negligent misrepresentation, breach of contract and deceit, among other allegations.

Shannon claimed he enlisted as a reserve and had active duty service during training at Quantico from July 13, 1982, through Aug. 21, 1982, and that he was “discharged honorably with a rank of officer candidate,” Shannon’s court declaration states.

Further court documentation showed Shannon filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in September 2018.

Read the article here: American Military News

Category: Marine Corps Poser, Stolen Valor

Comments (33)

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  1. 26Limabeans says:

    “discharged honorably with a rank of officer candidate,”

    After five grueling weeks of military service.
    Welcome home asshole.

    • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

      Five weeks, isn’t that about what John Giduck or “Gunga Dan” did?

      • Green Thumb says:

        The Turd With A Face!

        What happened to that contributer? Fsky-fsk or something like that. Dude was funny!

        And Giduck was a Tournament Champion! Out of a very deep and strong bracket.

        He was also a martial artist in the rare and not-so-much sought after art of Shovel-do.

        Semi-Tough Squishy-Ass Foul-Smelling Turd indeed.

        We really need to create a thread of revisiting a “Blast from the Past Poser of the Week” or something very similar.

  2. 26Limabeans says:

    Moving to Montana:

  3. Combat Historian says:

    Sounds like he flunked or quit Marine PLC, the equivalent of Army ROTC Basic Camp. It does not make you a Veteran of ANYTHING, other than quitting…

    Of course, since this Shannon douche is a liar, I’m not sure if even that much is true…

    • Green Thumb says:


      You fail Basic Camp and you are definitely a (in the words of Frankie Cee) a pathetic, mega-first class loser.

  4. Comm Center Rat says:

    Former “Officer Candidate” Laron Shannon is so worthless even Lil Dick Blumenthal of those “Vietnam times” wouldn’t allow him to support the Toys For Tots program.

  5. 5th/77th FA says:

    Shannon may wish he had some oil for those drilling rigs that Bubba and the boys use to “clean him with.” His new job will be tossing salad at the deli.

    • rgr769 says:

      This was a civil case, so he won’t be jailed for failing to pay the judgment. The reason the award is so high is that it likely includes punitive damages.

  6. Slow Joe says:

    “My business plan?
    Lets invest a quarter million dollar to hire people.”

    What kind of businessman find that credible?

    Do you want to donate a quarter mil?
    There are better ways to do that.
    Like donating it to TAH…
    Just saying.

  7. Wilted Willy says:

    Not Bad, but I don’t think he can beat the amount of money that my pos brother has already scammed the VA and us out of at least that much? Of course, he has not done it in one fell swoop not over many years like my pos brother! I should get at least that much for a whistle blower award, don’t you guys agree?? Now all we have to do is get the fucking VA to prosecute my fucking pos brother!!!

  8. Keepin' It Real says:

    We few, we so happy few…

    “Defending our country and looking good on paper.” — The Service Record Book Commandos —

  9. Trivia: Speaking of Whitefish, does anyone who grew up in NYC during the 1950’s remember what Coney Island Whitefish were:Grin

    • 26Limabeans says:

      I grew up in Boston and we knew all about them.
      A similar species inhabited the Charles River along
      the esplanade…

      • Ok, so if one went under the boardwalk in Coney Island Brooklyn, NYC, in the 1950’s, one would see rubbers on top of the sand, hence the slang words Coney Island Whitefish. I guess during these times, young teens are playing video games in their folks basement instead of being with their girl under the boardwalk opening a square aluminun foil pack with a rubber inside.In the Drifters song Under The Boardwalk they didn’t mention the square little packet./grin

  10. Bim says:

    Isnt he the same guy we talked about this time last year?

    • Bob Drennan says:

      Looks like it.

      • Skyjumper says:

        A comment from that blog that fake Marine Laron D. Shannon made to Channel 13 News back then.

        Make out of it what you want. (smile)

        ““I have an honorable discharge from the United States Marine Corps. It’s on my wall in my office,” he said.”

  11. Roh-Dog says:

    …just a victimless crime…
    Posers beware, We have a unique set of skillz…
    Hopefully that judgment gets paid.

  12. Hack Stone says:

    Has he considered starting a proud but humble woman owned business that sells software to the federal government? If the price is right, Elaine Ricci would be willing to jump ship.

  13. Green Thumb says:

    About time.

    I wonder if Fat Boy can produce the coins…?

  14. marinedad61 says:

    Oh Oh (Can’t wait for Weekend Open Thread)
    This 2013 turd JOHN PAUL GIBEAU is at it again.
    Worse, he just beat up an in-law for confronting him
    over his current (May 2020) Stolen Valor claims and lies.
    It might make his local news, under a story, or a police log.
    Someone has encouraged the family member posting on Facebook
    to report this new activity to the MP Report page.
    Ugh, fresh fish.

    • marinedad61 says:

      It’s all here, with her link to MP from 2013.
      This man, John, used his military service and disability
      to get close to my mother in law and just yesterday he beat my man up because John felt disrespected.
      John has told me that he has two purple hearts,
      he got shot in the head by enemies and that’s why he had to leave the service, and that he spent 25 years in the military.
      can someone take a little time to look over this and explain to me what most of it means?
      I have a feeling it might have something to do with why my mother in law complains about the VA not paying John anything.
      [End Paste]

    • Green Thumb says:

      I remember this tosser.


      I would imagine if you slapped this guy, he would queef.

      • marinedad61 says:

        Green Thumb,
        Well, he’s back at it,
        with bullshit “2 Purple Heart” claims.
        Now, a punch out of a relative who called him out,
        and a family civil war.
        IF the TV, newspaper, or police log come up in the next few days on Google,
        it’s worthy of a NEW MP/TAH story.

  15. timactual says:

    “. Shannon’s business plan was to preferentially hire veterans for the business venture, according to court records.”

    A Summa Cum Laude graduate of the South Park Institute of Business, no doubt.

    !) Hire veterans
    2) ??
    3) Profit

  16. jarhead says:

    A con man conning a car dealer? Are you kiddin’ me?