Deputies: Pasco man impersonates veteran, pretends to have Purple Heart

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Stephen Henry Lang, 23, wanted a job with a pool service. It’s the application and a form he presented that got him in trouble.

The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office arrested the New Port Richey man. Lang is charged with using a false document to get the job.

“In one case he showed the owner of the company a counterfeit or a forged DD-214, which is a discharge paper from the United States military, where he claimed to be a sergeant,” Detective Bruce Cohen said.

Cohen says Lang told one perspective employer he’d received a purple heart in combat.

“A major in the Pentagon and a sergeant at McDill Air Force Base, and they both gave us documentation saying he was never in the military and the DD-214 was a false document,” Cohen said.

It’s not the first time Lang has done this. In 2015 he plead guilty in a Hillsborough County case for applying for a job and using the same form to claim he is an Army veteran.

Records in Hillsborough County show Lang also claimed to have won the Silver Star, Purple Heart and other combat awards during a distinguished military career. He fraudulently obtained a Purple Heart tag from the Florida DHSMV.

The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office says the Pentagon has confirmed to them that Lang has never served in any branch of the military.

Lang is also accused of presenting a counterfeit military discharge document to the owner of Bella Pools. Deputies said he stated he fabricated the document using a download from Google to get the job.

He was arrested on two charges of uttering a forged instrument and transported to the Land O’ Lakes Detention Center.

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