Don Draper may have assumed a fallen soldier's identity to escape his life as "strong-jawed army defector" and restyle himself as a "strong-jawed philandering ad exec," but not all of us aspire to such heights. Some of us just want to pick up babes, you know?
Such was the case with Brandon Ashraf, an upstate New York man accused of impersonating Matthew A. Pucino, a Green Beret who was killed in Afghanistan when he was 34. Ashraf, 28, not only stole Pucino's identity, he used his photos—filched from the website of the slain soldier's memorial foundation, no less—on dating websites, having even used the more attractive man's face to arrange a rendezvous with a woman from Florida.
Ashraf has been charged with one misdemeanor count of criminal impersonation.
“We’re pretty disgusted with the whole thing,” Pucino's sister told the Buffalo News. “We’re really glad that this has come to a head and he has been charged. We didn’t give up.”
Pucino's family first suspected foul play two years ago when they were contacted by several victims accusing Ashraf of "cat fishing," and continued when they found a fake Facebook page—the deletion of which prompted Ashraf to contact the Pucino family.
“He [Ashraf] just helped,” Pucino's sister said. “He did not realize we were connecting the dots."