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Marine impostor sentenced for wearing uniform, medals

March 15, 2010 |  6:12 pm
A Palm Springs man who wore a Marine Corps uniform with medals and bragged about fighting in a battle in Iraq was sentenced Monday to a year of probation, authorities said.

Steven Douglas Burton, 39, was also ordered to pay a $250 fine and a $25 sentencing assessment by U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips in Riverside, authorities said.Burton

In his plea agreement, Burton admitted to wearing the uniform and medals on several occasions, including at least two Halloween parties and his 20-year high school reunion in Martinez in the Bay Area, said Assistant U.S. Atty. Joseph Akrotirianakis, who prosecuted the case.

Burton pleaded guilty in December to violating a federal law prohibiting the unauthorized wearing of a U.S. military uniform. The medals that he wore on his uniform included the Navy Cross, authorities said.

He bragged to friends about serving in Afghanistan and fighting in the battle of Fallouja in November 2004.

In issuing the sentence, Phillips took into consideration that Burton did not wear the uniform for financial gain or to enter a military base, according to Akrotirianakis.

--Robert J. Lopez

Photo: Steven Douglas Burton. Credit: Marine Corps Times.