Kelsie Denise Hoover, 28, abruptly left her job at KPS Global on Nov. 1, informing her bosses at the Fort Worth business she had to move to San Antonio due to medical issues.
But, it turns out, there was a lot she didn’t tell them, authorities said.
Hoover had been working at the business under a different name, assuming the identity of her friend’s female family member, according to Fort Worth Officer Buddy Calzada, a police spokesman.
When Hoover applied at KPS Global, they didn’t know she was carrying falsified identification and had changed her appearance to match the picture, Calzada said. They didn’t know she was lying about her life. They certainly didn’t know she was on the run from police.
Hoover, a former Baylor University student, gained national attention in 2015 when she was the first person to be arrested under the Stolen Valor Act of 2013. She was caught pretending to be a male soldier who had been awarded a Purple Heart, donning a camouflage military uniform and wearing her hair short.
Hoover was found guilty on fraud charges out of Nevada and was facing up to a 20-year prison sentence, according to media reports.
That’s when, Calzada said, she disappeared and didn’t show up for her sentencing date. And she eventually wound up in Fort Worth with a new female identity.
“We’d really like to catch up with her,” Calzada said on Friday. “Not only do we not want further victims here in Fort Worth, but anywhere she may go, any town that she may go to next … she’s more than likely going to commit it again.”
Fort Worth police and other authorities have identified Hoover as a woman under her legal name, but media reports indicate Hoover identifies as a transgender man and has undergone testosterone treatments. It’s not clear from the media reports whether there’s another name Hoover goes by.
Hoover fell out of the spotlight after she skipped her sentencing and skipped town, but Fort Worth police want to get her story back out there so people can try to identify her. She’s wanted on the charge of fraudulent use and possession of identifying information, in addition to fraud charges out of other states.
Calzada noted that, though Hoover said she was going to San Antonio, there’s no way to know where she was really heading.
“When someone has done this much fraud and lying and deceitfulness,” he said, “we don’t know if she is there or not.”
The website Guardian of Valor exposed Hoover for impersonating a soldier in a video it posted to YouTube in February 2015. In the video, she’s sitting in the Baltimore/Washington International Airport when a man comes up to her and starts speaking.
The man, who’s behind the camera, thanks her for her service before asking if she’s seen “stolen valor” videos on the Internet of veterans catching people pretending to be service members. As she turns away and looks at her phone, he questions the placement of the patches and badges on her uniform, and inquires about her experience.
“I’m not gonna make a scene,” he can be heard saying.
She eventually hands him her license, which identifies her as Michael Cipriani.
Authorities began investigating Hoover in 2015 when she was volunteering under a fake name at a high school in Nevada and claimed to be a decorated and disabled combat veteran, according to the Associated Press. Authorities determined she obtained Nevada Purple Heart license plates, the AP reported, after she submitted falsified military records claiming she had received the Medal of Honor and the Purple Heart.
She was charged in Washoe County, Nevada, on several counts including submitting false applications for a driver’s license and vehicle registration and falsely claiming decorated military veteran status, according to Reno’s KTVN-TV. At the time she was already serving a three-year sentence in Oregon for fraud charges but was extradited to Reno, KTVN-TV reported.
The three-year sentence was reportedly set to run consecutively with the new sentence.
Calzada said the police investigation shows that Hoover met up with a woman and stole one of her family member’s identities. He’s not sure if Hoover had caught wind of the police investigation and that’s why she fled Fort Worth, he said.
KPS Global, he noted, has been cooperative throughout the investigation.
He can’t yet say what Hoover’s motive has been in her deceits, but he wants to find out.
“We’d like to take her into custody,” he said.
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