A West Virginia man seeking a six-figure job with an Ohio company pretended to be a major general with the U.S. Army, listed the Army chief of staff as a reference on his resume and claimed to have professional relationships with current and former U.S. defense secretaries, federal authorities allege in documents filed in federal court.
A criminal complaint accuses Randall Thomas Keyser of Barboursville, W.Va., of wire fraud. He was arrested Thursday and has a detention hearing set for Tuesday in Akron. Court records show he was born in 1954.
An FBI agent alleges in an affidavit that Keyser defrauded an Akron construction company so he could get a $175,000 job for which he wasn't qualified and get payment for travel expenses for an interview.
"It's kind of outrageous," Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Bulford told The Akron Beacon Journal. "Anybody who served our country and sees this I think will be outraged."
Keyser's attorney, George Pappas, said Saturday he had no comment.
Court documents do not name the company; the Beacon Journal identified it as Tri-C Construction.
Keyser contacted the company in mid-March after it announced a job opening online, the affidavit said. Through phone calls, meetings and e-mail from a private, non-government account that included the image of the Department of Defense seal, Keyser convinced company officials his military background was real, the affidavit said. He submitted a resume indicating he'd served in several wars and had supervised 17 multimillion-dollar construction projects around the world.
He appeared in military uniform at one meeting, Tri-C president Randy Clarahan told the newspaper. The company also received calls from people identifying themselves as Gen. George Casey, then Army chief of staff, and Gen. Peter Chiarelli, vice chief of staff, the affidavit said.
The company became suspicious and contacted the FBI.