New York man arrested for impersonating dead soldier on dating site
A 28-year-old New York state man was arrested for allegedly stealing a dead Special Forces soldier’s pictures and using them for fake online profiles, WCVB-TV reported on Friday.
Authorities in Cheektowaga, New York, charged Brandon Ashraf with a misdemeanor count of criminal impersonation for allegedly using pictures belonging to Army Staff Sgt. Matthew A. Pucino in 2011 and 2012. Pucino was killed in 2009 during his fourth tour of duty in Afghanistan.
“I didn’t want him to get away with it,” Pucino’s sister, Lisa Pucino-Haglof, told WCVB. “It is wrong, and nobody should have to go through this. I want this to be a lesson to other people out there who are doing this.”
The Buffalo News reported that Ashraf allegedly took pictures from a Facebook memorial page honoring Pucino to assume his identity on at least one dating site. Ashraf reportedly set up a meeting with a woman from Florida using the fake account.
Ashraf was arraigned and released on his own recognizance.
Watch WCVB’s report, as aired on Friday, below.