ST. LOUIS – A U.S. District judge sentenced a man to 100 hours of community service for living under an assumed name he used to enlist in the U.S. Army 37 years ago.
DeLeo A. Barner, 60, pleaded guilty to passport fraud back in May. Barner signed up to serve in the U.S. Army in 1985 under his own name in Berlin, Germany, but was discharged with no opportunity to reenlist.
In April of 1985, he would reenlist. This time, under a name of a fellow St. Louisan. The identity is only listed as ‘J.S.’ in court documents.
This allowed him to serve in the Army until he was honorably discharged. Barner then worked for several security firms in Germany for over 33 years, and raised six children, all while using the stolen identity.
Barner’s victim tried to apply for health insurance in 2018. He was told that he had access to healthcare through the Department of Veterans Affairs. The victim told authorities that he never served in the Army. This triggered an investigation into the stolen identity.
Special agents interviewed DeLeo in Berlin in 2019. He admitted that he used the stolen identity to obtain least five US passports and VA benefits. He was indicted in 2020 and escorted back to St. Louis. He spent about a week total in jail.
Barner plead guilty in May to a charge of making a false statement in a passport application.