Brandon Blankenship of Colorado was arrested and charged in Waukesha County court in Wisconsin last week for claiming to be a Master Sergeant in the U.S. Marines in order to scam people who were looking to reserve a unit in what they were told was “Marine housing.”
Blankenship, 32, allegedly attempted to act as the middle man at the apartment building he had lived in for only a month between the building and potential renters. Blankenship pretended to be in the service and collected security deposits from individuals in the Marines looking to rent, while he told the apartment complex that they would be receiving money from the Department of Defense.
Menomonee Falls Assistant Police Chief Mark Waters said that Blankenship printed fake checks and even went as far as to get tattoos pertaining to the Marines to further push the scam.
“He definitely tried to portray himself as being part of the military with different tattoos, with insignia on documents and such,” Waters said.
“He was well received by some people here in Wisconsin and he was just about to swindle multiple people,” Waters continued.
After his arrest, police searched his apartment and storage unit and found a “computer, software discs for printers and computers on how to print checks from a personal computer, several pieces of paper that appeared to purportedly be check paper with a Navy Federal Credit Union logo affixed to them,” according to the complaint.
Also according to the complaint, police also found a black t-shirt “that had a screen printed emblem of the badge stating US Marine Corps Military Police with MSGT B.A. Blankenship directly below the badge emblem” with “US Marine Security Forces” in white lettering across the back.
This wasn’t Blankenship’s first offense. He had previously posed as a Marine in order to buy a truck with a Toyota dealer with a check he printed himself. He had a felony warrant in Pennsylvania for absconding on his probation and a felony warrant from Virginia for defrauding the dealership for the car worth $35,000.
Waters said Blankenship “was a fraud in Virginia. He was a fraud in Pennsylvania, and here in Wisconsin, and it’s very limited times when a true con man only cons one person.”
He has been charged with false statement regarding military service with intent to commit a crime.