Millersville Man Pleads Guilty to Posing as A Retired Army Special Forces Colonel
Lied for 12 Years About Special Forces and Terrorism Experience
to Gain Teaching Employment;
Agrees to Pay $171,415 in Restitution and Perform 500 Hours of Community Service at the Maryland State Veterans Cemeteries
Baltimore, Maryland - William G. Hillar, age 66, of Millersville, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to wire fraud in connection with a scheme to lie about his military experience and academic credentials in order to gain employment for teaching and training.
The plea agreement was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Special Agent in Charge Robert Craig of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service - Mid-Atlantic Field Office.
“William G. Hillar lived a lie and based his teaching career on military experience he did not have and credentials that he did not earn,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “He was never a colonel, never served in the U.S. Army or the Special Forces, never was deployed to exotic locales and never received training in counter-terrorism and psychological warfare while in the armed forces.”
“Mr. Hillar's fraudulent representations came to the FBI's attention from concerned citizens, including former members of the Special Forces community. This investigation is an example of the difficulty the public faces trying to verify the accuracy of information on the Internet,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely.
"The Defense Criminal Investigative Service is committed to supporting America's warfighters and protecting the interest of the American taxpayers," said Robert Craig, Special Agent in Charge for the DCIS Mid-Atlantic Field Office. "The service members that comprise the Department of Defense's elite special warfare units have undergone years of specialized training and sacrifice to be called Special Forces. To misuse their titles for personal gain is unconscionable and discredits those that served and continue to serve the United States of America."
According to Hillar’s plea agreement, from around 1998 to 2010, private and public sector organizations paid Hillar at least $171,415 for teaching, leading workshops, giving speeches and conducting training on counter terrorism, drugs trafficking, human trafficking and related topics. Hillar conducted these activities through a business named “Bill Hillar Training.”
In order to secure these employments, Hillar falsely represented in resumes, biographical statements and on the Internet that: "William G. Hillar is a retired Colonel of the U.S. Army Special Forces. He has served in Asia, the Middle East, and Central and South America, where his diverse training and experiences included tactical counter-terrorism, explosive ordnance, emergency medicine and psychological warfare." Hillar also represented that he received a Ph.D. from the University of Oregon.
Hillar never served in the U.S. Army or the Special Forces and never attained the rank of Colonel. Hillar never served in Asia, the Middle East and Central and South America, and did not acquire in those locales training and experiences in counter-terrorism, explosive ordnance, emergency medicine and psychological warfare. Hillar did serve in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve as an enlisted sailor from 1962 to 1970, achieving the rate of Radarman, Petty Officer Third Class.
Hillar faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. As part of his plea agreement, Hillar has agreed to pay restitution of $171,415, and perform no less than 500 community hours at the Maryland State Veterans Cemeteries. U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. scheduled sentencing for July 20, 2011 at 9:00 a.m.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the FBI and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Leo Wise, who is prosecuting the case.