A convicted felon has been lying about his military service record. He has fooled people, gained their trust and sometimes taken their money. The fake Marine is under investigation by at least two federal agencies.
“Lieutenant” Greg Allen is a convicted felon who has been lying about his service record for years. He has fooled people, gained their trust and taken their money.
ABS has obtained Allen’s service records under the Freedom of Information Act. They reveal that everything Allen has said about his military history is a lie. He was never in the Marines, never a lieutenant, never served in Vietnam and did not earn those medals.
ABC’s Dan Noyes spoke to Reconnaissance Marine Simon Duvall who is in the Philippines on a joint exercise about the training he received during high school, at a gym in San Rafael. Duvall said:
I thought it was a good experience, learned a lot from Lt. Allen, the man who runs the place, and definitely prepared me, gave me an upper edge.
Allen opened his “Fitness Boutique” with a “smile” sign over the doorway.
Then, 10 years ago, Allen’s fitness boot camps became popular, so he refashioned it into the “House of Steel”, featuring Marine-style workouts for soccer moms and for teens who want to join the military.
You can see early in the morning boys and girls training at the gym off 4th Street in San Rafael and in the parking lot of the nearby Whole Foods.
Allen also changed his image by adding a Marine uniform and a number of medals, including a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star with “V” for valor and a new title, first lieutenant.
We definitely knew he was a Reconnaissance Marine, a scout sniper and someone to look up to.
Allen told his young clients war stories and the local newspaper quoted him as saying:
I am a Vietnam veteran. I was in a lot of conflicts; there are ones I mention and ones I don’t. I did two tours and was active from 1967 to ’74.
Allen was so convincing that he became president of the Military Officers Association of America, Marin Chapter.
He joined the Marin United Veterans Council and his clients performed color guard at holiday parades.
Ray Mullin, the president of the Marin United Veterans Council, said:
I like Greg, I like his attitude, his direction, how he presents himself, his Marine Corps je ne sais quoi.
Even after ABC raised questions about Allen’s credentials, veterans stood by him at the American Legion post in Larkspur. Jackie Tribolet said:
I’m going to stick with believing Greg until Jesus comes down from heaven and tells me otherwise.
Allen wasn’t happy when Noyes approached him about his service. Noyes asked him:
Are you ready to admit now that you’ve never been a Marine?
Allen’s reply was:
No, I’m not going to admit anything to you because it’s not true.
However, ABC had obtained Allen’s service records under the Freedom of Information Act.
What they show is that everything Allen has said about his military history is a lie.
He was never in the Marines, never a lieutenant, never served in Vietnam and did not earn those medals.
Allen did enlist in the U.S. Navy, however he was discharged after only eight months because of a pre-existing knee injury from high school football.
The full extent of Allen’s lies has shocked the real veterans Noyes spoke to at a Marines Memorial event.
Paul Bucha is one of only 79 Medal of Honor recipients who are still alive.
He said that Vietnam vets had to count on the respect and accolades of their peers, adding that Allen’s lies are serious. He said:
Someone like this comes in and tries to horn in on that and steal that and misuse it through misrepresentation, it’s disgusting.
Col. Bill Peacock, chairman of Wine Country Marines, said:
We find it extraordinarily offensive.
Peacock saw the picture of Allen standing in front of the casket and contacted the FBI.
The FBI then launched a criminal investigation into whether Allen raised money based on his phony persona.
One man told ABC that he gave Allen $5,000 at a House of Steel Fundraiser because he thought Allen really was a Marine lieutenant.
And then there’s Allen’s felony record. He was sentenced to three years in state prison after violating a restraining order when he climbed in his wife’s bedroom window and threatened to cut her throat and shoot her.
At the time, Allen blamed his drug addiction.
So many people can’t believe that this is the man they trusted with their sons and daughters, and with their money, in some cases.