Paul A. Schroeder, 41, of Shenandoah, has been convicted of altering a military or naval discharge certificate and will now be headed to federal prison, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.
Schroeder, former director of counseling for the PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) Foundation of America, was indicted in June 2012 and today admitted he altered his military discharge certificate. As a result, United States District Judge David Hittner ordered he serve 30 days in prison which will be followed by one year of supervised release. Judge Hittner rejected the defense request for probation and further ordered Schroeder pay a fine of $3,000.
According to court records, in April 2009, Schroeder applied for military meritorious service license plates with the Texas Department of Transportation (DOT). In the application, Schroeder certified that during the course of his military service he had been awarded the Silver Star, supporting this claim with a fraudulently altered certificate of release or discharge from active duty purporting to have been issued under authority of the Department of Defense (DOD).
FBI special agents obtained a copy of Schroeder’s service record from the DOD and compared it to the document submitted by Schroeder to Texas DOT. The comparison revealed that besides having never been awarded a Silver Star, Schroeder falsely reported he was the recipient of numerous awards and training from various combat schools. Those false assertions included two Purple Heart awards, three Bronze Star awards, two Meritorious Service Medals, training from Special Forces Assessment and Selection, Army Ranger School, Pathfinder Course, Jumpmaster School, Airborne School, Military Freefall School, and the Combat Dive Qualification Course.
After submitting the fraudulent documentation, Schroeder was issued meritorious service plates which he displayed until such time as he was confronted with the discrepancies between the Department of Defense Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, and the one that he had submitted to Texas DOT.
FBI investigated with the cooperation and assistance of the Texas Rangers. Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) Richard D. Hanes is prosecuting the case and AUSA Bob Stabe handled the plea and sentencing.