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Man who claimed to be ‘Navy sergeant’ and lied about military service gets more jail time

Chain-link fence at a jail. (Maxpexel/Released)

Lying about completing a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program while in prison has led to more jail time for a Bensalem man already accused of lying about serving in the military.

Joseph Gorzoch, 41, was back in Bucks County Court this week after Deputy District Attorney Bob James checked on the man’s previous statements to a judge — who factored in the man’s supposed graduation of the 90-day HOPE program while in county prison during a sentencing on DUI and retail theft charges last month.

“I knew he was only in prison for 67 days,” James said Tuesday, “so I called the prison and they checked the records.”

Gorzoch had in fact not finished the program, having been bailed out of jail before he could do so.

Following Gorzoch’s March 21 sentencing, James filed a motion of reconsideration, hoping to have the judge take another look at the case in light of the man’s most recent false claim.

On Monday, President Judge Wallace H. Bateman Jr. added one to two years to Gorzoch’s sentence, which will keep him in state prison for five to 10 years.

This wasn’t the first time a statement from Gorzoch raised red flags to James and prompted him to investigate.

The man had claimed to suffer from “service-related PTSD” and experience nightmares and flashbacks as a result of being injured by an explosion while serving in Afghanistan as a U.S. Navy sergeant.

James, himself a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, knew something was fishy as the Navy has no rank of sergeant.

That lie, which James called a dishonoring of those who actually served their country, was one he could not let go.

He also learned Gorzoch had lied about his mother dying in an attempt to have his court case delayed at the district level.

Regarding Gorzoch’s attempt to gain credit for the uncompleted rehab program, James called it “just another lie on top of another lie on top of another lie.”

“And these were all claims that we could rationally and quickly check on,” the prosecutor added. “He’s nothing but a sham.”


© 2019 The Intelligencer, Doylestown, Pa.

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