Military trainer sentenced for fraud

Aug. 31, 2011 at 11:18 AM

BALTIMORE, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- A Maryland man who posed as a retired U.S. Army special forces veteran and terrorism expert has been sentenced to 21 months in federal prison.

Prosecutors said William Hillar, 66, claimed to have served in the U.S. Army and to have lost his daughter to sex traffickers.

He was convicted of wire fraud for conning the FBI and other organizations into giving him contracts to provide teaching and training on topics such as counter-terrorism, drug trafficking and human trafficking. According to his plea agreement, Hillar earned at least $171,415 from 1998 to 2010, the Baltimore U.S. attorney's office said Tuesday in a release.

Hillar was sentenced to 21 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution.

"William G. Hillar claimed that he had earned praise as a hero, but the truth is that he deserves condemnation as a liar," said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.

Hillar, who served in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve, claimed to be a retired U.S. Army Colonel and to have served in special forces in Asia, the Middle East, and Central and South America. He also claimed to have received a Ph.D. from the University of Oregon.

Prosecutors said Hillar admits to fabricating a tale that his daughter had been kidnapped, forced into sex slavery and tortured before being hacked to death with machetes and thrown into the sea. He claimed that his life story was the basis for the 2008 film "Taken."

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