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The sound of a fake seal might make you picture a stuffed animal sea creature, but the kind I'm going to describe is anything but cute and cuddly. The state of New Jersey just filed a lawsuit against two state residents who they allege collected thousands of dollars for donations to a 9/11 charity that didn't exist. The perps, one 66 years old and one 44, had previous criminal records and drove a truck painted with 9/11 first responders' names and solicited money from innocent people wanting to help. To make matters even worse, one of the men is accused of pretending to be an ex Navy SEAL, when in fact, he never served. Despicable.
I can't think of anything lower than taking advantage of people's memories of 9/11 and the emotions they felt or feel for that day. It's a disgrace that these two jackholes drove around in a patriotic truck, singing the praises of our heroes, pretending to be one, and then squirreling the money away for themselves.
According the NBC, the "charity" they "worked for" was never registered and the money collected was used for their personal gain. Horrible.
The New Jersey Attorney General is asking that the court impound this incendiary truck, which would prevent these guys from asking for more donations, but I hope, if convicted, the punishment is a little more harsh than that. Whatever they earned, they should hand over to a real 9/11 charity, plus 10 percent.
And honestly? An apology to this guy might be in order, as well. He's retired Navy SEAL Don Shipley and he first featured these jokers last year when their alleged racket was discovered. He's pissed -- and has every right to be. The Navy SEAL name isn't just one you can throw around and not expect to face some repercussions. You fake it, you'll pay the price.
Hopefully the man who cried Navy SEAL gets his comeuppance.
Can you believe this?
Photo via Official US Navy Imagery/Flickr