UPDATE: "Fake Colonel" Sentenced

A man convicted in April of impersonating a highly decorated Marine colonel was sentenced Wednesday.

Photo: Jacksonville Daily News

A man convicted in April of impersonating a highly decorated Marine colonel was sentenced Wednesday.

Michael Hamilton of Richlands will spend up to one year and four months months in prison.

A federal judge sentenced him to 16 months in prison for counts one and two (false statements and larceny of government property, respectively), six months on count three (unlawful wearing of uniform), and 12 months on count four (unlawful claim of military decorations and medals).

The sentences are to run concurrently, meaning the shorter sentences will be completed while serving the longer 16 month sentences.

Hamilton will be on supervised release for three years after his prison term.

The judge ordered Hamilton to pay $37,635 in restitution and $235 for a special assessment fee. The judge did not impose any additional fines, stating Hamilton would not be capable of paying.

Hamilton has been held at the Pitt County Jail, but will be transferred to the Butner Federal Corrections Complex.

Hamilton faced up to 16 years in prison and $600,000 in fines.


A man convicted in April of impersonating a highly decorated Marine colonel is scheduled to be sentenced today.

Michael Hamilton of Richlands is scheduled to learn his sentence today. He faces up to 16 years in prison and $600,000 in fines.

WITN's Hilary Magacs is following the proceedings and will update us from the courthouse.

Hamilton was charged with embezzling $30,000 from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, making false official statements, and wearing a uniform and medals he did not receive.

Authorities at Camp Lejeune began investigating the 67-year-old Hamilton after his picture showed up in the Jacksonville Daily News. Hamilton was a speaker at a Vietnam veteran ceremony where he was dressed in a Marine colonel's uniform decorated with four Silver Stars and eight Purple Hearts.

At his trial, several people testified that Hamilton had been seen at other military installations in recent years wearing high ranking Marine uniforms. An FBI agent says Hamilton was caught at the Naval Air Station in Norfolk wearing a general's uniform, in the summer of 2000 a Marine 2nd lieutenant saw Hamilton in San Diego at a Marine graduation in a colonel's uniform, and in July 2007 Camp Lejeune got a call about man wearing a lieutenant general's uniform. In that case Marines say Hamilton could not produce ID and was escorted off base.

A records custodian for the Marine Corps says Hamilton was on active duty from July 1961 and April 1962 and never served in combat and was never wounded overseas. Hamilton's own sister testified that after getting his fingers hurt at Camp Lejeune he lived at home with his parents and she could account for where he was between 1961 and 1966. It was during that time period that Hamilton said he was involved in secret operations in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

We'll let you know what Hamilton is sentenced to.

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