BALTIMORE, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- The FBI has arrested a Maryland man, saying his claims to be a retired Army Special Forces colonel with multiple university degrees are fabrications.
William G. Hillar of Millersville allegedly portrayed himself as a retired colonel advising foreign military organizations on terrorism, and said he holds a bachelor's degree in psychology, a master's in education and a doctorate in health education, The Baltimore Sun reported Wednesday.
Hillar, 66, has lectured on human trafficking, using marketing materials that claim his daughter was kidnapped, forced to become a sex slave and then killed, a story he claims was the inspiration of a 2008 film, "Taken," starring Liam Neeson, the newspaper said.
But officials say Hillar's only military history is a term in the U.S. Coast Guard in the 1960s, that no university acknowledges bestowing any degrees and that there are doubts about the story concerning his daughter.
"This is someone that we still really don't know who he is," Maryland Assistant U.S. Attorney Leo Wise said. "We don't know what he's been doing for most of his adult life."
Hillar, who had bond set at $50,000 after being arrested on mail fraud charges Tuesday, allegedly told the lies as part of a scheme to get teaching positions.
"He was never a colonel, never served in the U.S. Army, never was deployed to exotic locales and never received training in counter-terrorism and psychological warfare while in the armed forces," Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said in a statement.