Man Sentenced for Falsely Pretending to be a General in The U.S. Army
RALEIGH – Robert J. Higdon, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, announces that CHRISTIAN GERALD DESGROUX, age 58, of Raleigh, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle to 6 months imprisonment followed by 1 year of supervised release. On June 26, 2018, DESGROUX pled guilty to pretending to be a United States Army Lieutenant General in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 912.
On November 6, 2017, DESGROUX, while dressed in a military battle dress uniform (BDUs) with U.S. Army rank and insignia, disembarked a private helicopter that landed at the headquarters of Statistical Analysis Systems (SAS) located in Cary, North Carolina. SAS security officers approached DESGROUX who claimed that he was a Lieutenant General in the United States Army and was authorized by the President of the United States to land the helicopter there in order to pick up a female employee of SAS for a classified debriefing at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. After the female and the defendant entered the helicopter, they flew around the area, refueled at a local airport, and returned to SAS.
When questioned by law enforcement, the female stated she was unaware that DESGROUX would be picking her up via helicopter. She believed that although they were not in a romantic relationship, DESGROUX was trying to impress her by flying her around. Her understanding was she would be meeting with the defendant to assist with a design project, but she had no knowledge of DESGROUX’s claims of a debriefing or joint special assignment involving the U.S. President. Investigation revealed DESGROUX had never been in the U.S. military.
The case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service. Assistant United States Attorneys Jason Kellhofer and Eleanor Morales prosecuted the case for the government.