This is in reference to the original Stolen Valor of Act which President Bush signed into law. It was very vaguely worded, making it a crime to lie about receiving any medals of valor in any context. This made it a crime to lie about receiving a bronze star or a purple heart while playing darts with a stranger in a bar. The Supreme Court overturned the law because it was seen as an infringement of free speech.
In 2013, President Obama signed a new version of the Stolen Valor Act into law, with more specific definitions on what makes this unforgivable fraud a federal crime. The new act says it is illegal to lie about receiving medals of valor in any way that allows the liar to benefit with financial reward, property, goods, etc. from the lie. So, a jerk can lie about getting a Purple Heart in a bar and if people believe him, he's exercising his free speech rights, but basically a jerk. However, if the bar owner says, "your tab is on the house, hero," then he is in violation of the Stolen Valor Act of 2013.
I have been following Marino's case because he set up a well respected winemaker in Northern Caliornia in 2011. The winemaker met with Marino, believing Marino was a TV producer named John Brown who wanted to do a new show for A&E television based on his winery. The meeting was scheduled in a wine bar and Marino kept ordering glass after glass of wine to make sure his victim was good and drunk. meanwhile, Marino was texting his boss who was watching the bar from outside. When Marino told his boss that the victim was leaving the bar, Marino's boss called in a cop to pull the victim over and arrest him for a DUI. Mafrino was clearly committing an identity fraud crime by claiming to represent a TV network while conspiring with a corrupt police officer and his boss to set the man up for arrest. During one week in January 2011, Marino pulled this same nasty trick on two different men, both of whom were arrested for DUI.
Last summer, both men sued the county that employed the police officer who made the arrests, as well as Marino's boss, for a civil rights violation. When the suit was originally filed in 2011, Marino was named as a defendant but he agreed to testify for the plaintiffs and was dropped from the suit. He went under oath to explain his role in the setup and had to answer a LOT of questions under oath. I read the deposition and he admits that he has been lying about receiving Purple Hearts and a Silver Star in his acting auditions. he's quite a smug little jerk about admitting to a federal crime, saying "that's what actors do." (I'm sure DeNiro told Martin Scorsese he won a Purple Heart in Vietnam to get the role in Taxi Driver.)
Marino goes on to say that he never makes an effort to correct the record if someone believed that he actually did server his country or suffer injuries in war. His arrogance about being a disgusting liar is astounding...he's very much the kind of person that Joe Kenda describes on the Homicide Hunter show, a self serving liar who has no conscience about committing crimes.