A Wisconsin man who was in prison for armed robbery allegedly pretended over a span of years to be a decorated Marine to con a woman and her family into writing him checks for thousands of dollars.

Jakobie Timblin, 34, of Richland Center, Wisconsin, was arraigned in April on charges of providing false statements regarding military service with intent to commit a crime and theft by false representation, according to a Monday news release by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office found that Timblin began communicating with a woman online in 2015. At the time, unbeknownst to the alleged victim, Timblin was incarcerated in Wisconsin state prison.

In 2016, someone posing as Timblin’s mother allegedly asked the woman if she would write a letter to Timblin because he was a Marine deployed overseas. For the next several years, Timblin and the alleged victim communicated via letters, according to the news release from the sheriff’s office.

After Timblin was released from prison in late 2018, he and the woman met in person and started dating, according to the release.

In 2019, someone claiming to be Timblin’s captain contacted the alleged victim, saying he was putting a gift together for Timblin to honor his heroism overseas and asked for a loan, reassuring her that the Defense Department would pay her back. The victim wrote a check for $5,000, according to the release.

All the while, Timblin allegedly told his mark tall tales about his nonexistent service, including the injuries he had purportedly sustained on his five deployments, one to Iraq and four to Afghanistan.

At one point, Timblin even brought along his supposed dress blues, complete with a Purple Heart, on a trip to the alleged victim’s family cabin, according to the release.

Timblin told the alleged victim’s stepmother that he had recently learned, upon returning from deployment, that his mother had died and said he needed money for estate planning, according to the release.

The stepmother wrote him a check for $6,500, with the understanding that he would pay her back, which he never did, the sheriff’s office states in the release.

Then the stepmother looked up the obituary of Timblin’s mother ― and found that she had only one son, a man named Jacob Elliot. She discovered that Elliot was on release for a 2014 armed robbery, according to the release.

That’s when she reported Timblin to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

A sergeant in the sheriff’s office who happened to be a Marine veteran looked at a photo of Timblin in his uniform and noticed errors with the placement of patches and medals. The office then verified with the Marine Corps that Timblin had never served, according to the release.

The investigation conducted by the sheriff’s office found that Elliot had changed his name to Timblin “well after he had met the victim” and had bought the medals and uniform online.

“It is morally deplorable to be a military imposter and is particularly reprehensible to use society’s respect and admiration for the brave men and women that serve this great county for one’s gain,” Sheriff Martin Schulteis said in the news release.

Marine Corps Times could not locate Timblin’s contact information online.

He is next scheduled to appear in court for a plea and sentencing hearing May 25, according to the news release.

Irene Loewenson is a staff reporter for Marine Corps Times. She joined Military Times as an editorial fellow in August 2022. She is a graduate of Williams College, where she was the editor-in-chief of the student newspaper.

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