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How to Become a Bounty Hunter

FBI Busts Md. Man for Fake Teaching Credentials; Law Enforcement Among Those He Taught

William Hillar

By Allan Lengel

Who the heck is William G. Hillar?

Well, if you read his online bio you’d see that he had some darn impressive credentials in the military, had a Ph.d and he’s been raking in cash teaching, conducting workshops and giving speech.

Problem is, federal authorities say, he’s a fraud.

On Tuesday, the FBI arrested the 66-year-old at his Millersville, Md. home for fraud for his alleged tangled web of lies to gain employment for teaching and training people, including members of the law enforcement community, the Baltimore U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

“The complaint alleges that William G. Hillar was living a lie and basing his entire career on experience he did not have and credentials that he did not earn,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “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.”

Richard A. McFeely, head of the Baltimore FBI said the fraud was brought to the FBI’s attention by “concerned citizens, including former members of the Special Forces community. This investigation is an example of the difficulty the public faces trying to verify the accuracy of information on the Internet.”

Authorities alleged that Hillar, for at least the past 10 years, has been teaching, leading workshops, giving speeches and conducting training for public and private sector clients under false pretenses.

A website that has been taken down contained a “Bio Info” page that stated “William G. Hillar is a retired Colonel of the U.S. Army Special Forces and had served in Asia, the Middle East, and Central and South America, and his training included tactical counter-terrorism, explosive ordnance, emergency medicine and psychological warfare.

It also said Hillar “holds a B.A. in Psychology, and M.A. in Education, a Ph.D. in Health Education, and an honorary Doctorate in Intercultural Relations, authorities said.

But a court affidavits states that a search of military and civilian records for Hillar in November 2010 showed he had not served with the U.S. Army, and instead, was an enlisted sailor in the U.S. Coast Guard reserves from 1962 to 1970.

Authorities alleged that he was never deployed at the locations stated on his website, nor was he given any Coast Guard training in tactical counter-terrorism, explosive ordnance, emergency medicine and psychological warfare.

He attended the University of Oregon from 1970 to 1973, but he did not earn a Ph.D, authorities said.

Authorities said since the spring of 2005, Hillar has taught 12 courses/workshops at an institute for international studies in California.

One workshop was titled “Tactical Counter Terrorism.” Authorities said the institute’s official who hired Hillar based it on his credentials posted on the web.

According to the affidavits, Hillar was paid more than $100,000 in the course of the scheme by a variety of public and private institutions, including law enforcement agencies.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the FBI and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Leo Wise, who is prosecuting the case.

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