Retired agent Mark Sewell served in the FBI for 20 years. He spent his career in the Atlanta Division, initially assigned to an organized crime squad for 10 years, before transferring to the Gainesville RA where he worked on the Safe Streets Task Force for another 10 years. He was also a member of the SWAT team.
In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, he reviews several stolen valor cases, including the investigation of Shane Ladner, a police officer accused of lying about receiving a Purple Heart medal and benefiting financially from the deception.
In 2013, in the wake of the tragic school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, Mark became one of the FBI’s first certified Active Shooter Event (ASE) Instructors. For 5 years, he taught Police Response to an ASE in 10 states and several countries in Africa. Since his retirement, Mark’s been working as a contract Intel instructor at the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA, and operating i-68.org, a consulting firm providing Active Shooter Event Consulting for churches and workplaces.
Special Agent (Retired)
7/1997 – 12/2017
“Stolen valor is claiming military medals, military service that was never earned, in an effort to either gain financially from it or to gain ego and attention from the public.” —Retired Agent Mark Sewell
The following are links to articles about military awards and stolen valor, as well as news reports about the investigation of Shane Ladner for fraudulently claiming to be a purple heart recipient:
New Yorker Magazine – 10/26/2020: How to Spot a Military Impostor
U.S. Department of Defense – Description of Military Awards for Valor – Top 3
Lubbock Online – 6/13/2013: Victim in Texas parade crash accused of lying
Tribune Ledger News – 10/3/2017: Ex-cop sentenced for lying about Purple Heart