Paul H. Lemmen

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Paul H. Lemmen (born 13 July 1955, Port Huron, Michigan) is a military impostor and convicted criminal, specializing in fraud. To various acquaintainces, Lemmen claimed to have been an intelligence officer in the Irish Republican Army before coming to the United States. Later, he changed his story to having joined the United States Air Force in 1972 and serving with the 41st Air Rescue and Recovery Squadron in Saigon for six months in 1974. Other service claims include spending 1980-1988 as an intelligence agent in an AFSOC unit, including an assignment in Beirut in 1983. According to his own accounts in 2003, he was promoted to Brigadier General and retired in 2005.[1]

In an interview with reporter Kevin Maurer of the Fayetteville Observer,[2] he claimed that he was a victim of a smear campaign to discredit him after he had told Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that he would no longer participate in intelligence gathering on United States citizens. The article also reported:

Jaimie Brehler, a Durham-based investigator who checks out military imposters, said that Lemmen was the subject of an investigation by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID). Chris Grey, a CID spokesman, said only that the command started an investigation of a contractor posing as a military officer in August 2005 and completed the probe in January. No results have been announced from that investigation. It is a violation of federal law to wear military decorations without authorization.

In fact, Lemmen was a salesman and IT consultant with no military experience. He did work in database administration at America's Moneyline, a division of Saxon Mortgage. When contacted, the Air Force stated that it has no record that there has ever been any general by the name of Paul H. Lemmen. His current residence is Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Time in Iraq[edit]

Through a series of online acquaintances, Lemmen made contact with a company called Blue Iraq. Blue Iraq had won a contract to install and maintain telecommunications equipment on United States installations throughout Iraq. Lemmen was hired as an IT consultant, and obtained clearance to travel to Iraq beginning in late 2005.

While working for Blue Iraq, Lemmen befriended members of the U.S. Army 3rd Special Forces Group. He also traveled to Kuwait and, in Air Force uniform, and made claims that he had negotiated a lucrative investment deal with the a member of the Kuwaiti Royal Family[citation needed]. In e-mails and news group posts, Lemmen claimed that he was involved in three separate IED attacks. It is unlawful to negotiate a private business agreement under color of uniform[citation needed]. During his time in Iraq, Lemmen started to openly wear his uniform while on U.S. bases in Iraq[citation needed].

In January 2006, Lemmen was arrested by the US Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) for posing as a General Officer and ordered back to the States.[3] At the time, he claimed the arrest was a ‘misunderstanding’ but he had been cleared of any wrongdoing. He continued to claim that he was the CEO for Blue Iraq.

Arlington Cemetery incident[edit]

After being sent back from Iraq, Lemmen attended a military funeral in full Air Force uniform displaying the rank of brigadier general. The funeral at Arlington Cemetery was of Army MSG Tony Yost, who had been killed in action in Iraq.[2] Officers attending Yost’s funeral included Maj. Gen. John F. Mulholland, Jr., then commander of U.S. Army Special Forces Command.

Criminal record[edit]

Upon further investigation,[4][5][6] it was found that Lemmen had a criminal record dating back to 1985.

Criminal history includes:

  • 3 counts of Grand Theft ($300 – $20,000) - Felony - Florida, 1985
  • 1 count Fugitive - Wanted in Other Jurisdiction - Florida, 1989
  • 1 count of Grand Theft ($300 – $20,000) - Felony - Florida, 1990
  • 1 count of Obtaining Property in Return for Worthless Check - Florida, 1996
  • 1 count of Passing Worthless Check - Misdemeanor - Florida, 2000
  • 1 count of Failure to Appear on 3 counts of Obtaining Property in Return for Worthless Check - Florida, 2000
  • Arrested by Army CID, Iraq on suspicion of impersonating a general officer and suspicion of embezzlement scam regarding a DoD vendor.[4]

Detention order[edit]

An investigation by the US Secret Service in 2006, related to various financial transactions, including the deposit of "some multi-million dollar checks which he had deposited in two financial institutions from the Bank of Kuwait. He admitted to the agents that the checks were fraudulent and that he was supposed to get ten percent of the proceeds from an individual he named."[7]

On March 21, 2007, US Magistrate Judge Joe H. Brown, in the US District Court of the Middle District of Tennessee, ordered Lemmen held without bail.[7] Judge Brown concluded, in his order, "The Magistrate Judge is firmly convinced that if this individual were released, he would be attempting to perpetrate a fraud on someone before the sun set that same day. The Defendant would also flee at the first opportunity. He has done so repeatedly in the past and undoubtedly would do so again."[7]

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