A transgender woman who was caught posing as a decorated male Army officer in a bizarre case of stolen valor has been sentenced to almost 20 years in jail on a number of unrelated charges, the Reno Gazette-Journal reports.
Kelsie Hoover, a 25-year-old Ohio woman, was convicted in Washoe County, Nevada, of submitting false driver’s license and vehicle registration applications, burglary, and stolen valor.
Hoover was posing as “Michael Cipriani,” a disabled veteran who was highly decorated. She was volunteering with a Washoe County school district, which is where authorities first became suspicious of her actions. They began investigating after Hoover (as Cipriani) used the school’s credit card to make a suspicious purchase.
While looking into the suspicious charge from Cipriani, investigators found a video online from the group “Guardians of Valor” that showed Cipriani being outed for faking a military record. The exchange took place at the Baltimore-Washington International Airport, where one individual noticed that she had several badges misplaced. Things took a turn from there:
According to the Waco Tribune, Hoover later said she was a student at Baylor University working on a film to escape the backlash from the stolen valor incident.
The investigation eventually revealed that Hoover had illegally obtained a Nevada’s driver’s license under the alias Michael Cipriani and a Purple Heart license plate using falsified military records. She had also “fraudulently obtained employment as a certified counselor with a local non-profit organization that assists children exposed to trauma and joined a local group that supports athletes with disabilities.”
At her sentencing, the prosecutor played an audio recording of Hoover planning to blame her actions on a fake heroin addiction. That clearly didn’t work, and she’ll begin serving her sentence in Washoe County just as soon as she finishes a three-year sentence for fraud in Oregon. The sentences are to run consecutively, and she won’t be eligible for parole for another seven years.
Yet another reason why stolen valor simply doesn’t pay.
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