Tyler Man Responsible of Utilizing Stolen Valor to Defraud Traders | USAO-EDTX

TYLER, Texas – A Tyler man has pleaded responsible to federal costs within the Japanese District of Texas, introduced U.S. Lawyer Brit Featherston in the present day. 

Derek Robert Hamm, 38, pleaded responsible to wire fraud, cash laundering, violating the Stolen Valor Act, utilizing a fraudulent navy discharge certificates, and being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition.  The Stolen Valor Act of 2013 makes it unlawful to fraudulently put on medals, embellish rank, or make false claims of navy service to acquire cash, employment, property, or another tangible profit.  As a part of the plea settlement, Hamm agreed to pay restitution of a minimum of $2.3 million and forfeiture of the proceeds of his felony conduct, together with jewellery, cars, and money proceeds within the quantity of $1,675,000.

In accordance with courtroom paperwork, Hamm invented a persona of being a rich and profitable warfare hero.  Hamm held himself out to be a former member of the Army Special Forces who had served a number of excursions of responsibility in Iraq, Afghanistan, and different international locations.  He claimed to have been awarded a Purple Coronary heart, Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Distinguished Service Cross for his service.  Hamm additionally represented that he was associated to Harold Hamm, the billionaire oilman in Oklahoma, which he claimed gave him entry to monetary sources and oil trade experience.  By this larger-than-life persona, Hamm created an in depth community of pals who launched him to potential traders.  These traders believed Hamm’s claims and invested in what they anticipated to be worthwhile ventures spearheaded by a reliable and succesful entrepreneur.

In actuality, Derek Hamm was nothing of the type.  Hamm was not a adorned warfare hero.  He was no oil trade tycoon.  He was not associated to Harold Hamm.  He didn’t spend traders’ funds on the most recent oil trade know-how or new oil wells.  Inside hours of receiving traders’ funds, Hamm spent their cash on himself and his household, together with costly jewellery, automobiles, and holidays to costly resorts on personal constitution planes.  All of the whereas, Hamm represented to traders that he had invested their cash in profitable oil trade tasks.  Due to the Hamm warfare hero persona, the traders trusted Hamm at the same time as their invested funds failed to provide any returns.

“At any time when individuals invent achievements and declare valor for issues performed by others, they tarnish the legacy and repair of these women and men who’ve made actual sacrifices in service to this nation,” mentioned U.S. Lawyer Brit Featherston.  “That’s very true when somebody makes use of the valor of such service to finally steal from individuals.  Hamm’s repugnant actions are an insult to true American heroes who obtained actual recognition for his or her actual achievements.”

Hamm additionally pleaded responsible to being a prohibited individual in possession of firearms and ammunition.  Hamm was convicted in Smith County in 2020 for theft of property, a state felony.  As a felon, Hamm is prohibited by federal legislation from proudly owning or possessing firearms or ammunition. In accordance with courtroom paperwork, Hamm was in possession of dozens of firearms, together with a number of rifles with high-capacity magazines, and ammunition for these firearms.

A federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Hamm with federal violations on January 20, 2022.  He faces as much as 20 years in federal jail.  The utmost statutory sentence prescribed by Congress is offered right here for data functions, because the sentencing might be decided by the courtroom based mostly on the advisory sentencing tips and different statutory elements.  A sentencing listening to might be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Workplace.

When you or somebody has been a sufferer of Derek Robert Hamm, please contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation at 903-594-3503.  Derek Robert Hamm is often known as D. Wayne Hamm II, Wayne Hamm, D. Wayne H., DW Hamm, and RD Hamm.

This case was prosecuted as a part of the Challenge Protected Neighborhoods Initiative.  Challenge Protected Neighborhoods is geared toward decreasing gun and gang violence; deterring unlawful possession of weapons, ammunition, and physique armor; and bettering the security of residents within the Japanese District of Texas. Contributors within the initiative embody neighborhood members and organizations in addition to federal, state, and native legislation enforcement businesses.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Tyler Discipline Workplace, with help from the Tyler Police Division, the Smith County Sheriff’s Workplace, the Phoenix Arizona Police Division, Smith County Grownup Probation, the Texas Railroad Fee-Enforcement Division, Division of Veteran’s Affairs-Workplace of Inspector Basic, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts-Felony Investigation Division, and america Army Particular Operations Command. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert Austin Wells and Ryan Locker.