A Wisconsin man who pretended to be a Marine while in prison for armed robbery in an apparent scheme to scam money from a woman has been sentenced to three years in prison and three years on probation.
Jakobie Scott Timblin, 35, of Richland Center, Wisconsin, pleaded “no contest” at a hearing Friday to the charge of making a false statement about one’s military service with the intent to commit another crime. In a no contest plea, a defendant neither admits to nor denies responsibility for the charge but accepts punishment for it.
Judge Ryan Hetzel of the Washington County Circuit Court dismissed a second charge, of theft by false representation, but had it “read in,” meaning that the judge could consider the conduct in deciding on a sentence.
Timblin began communicating with a woman online in 2015, according to a May news release by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. In 2016, someone pretending to be Timblin’s mother contacted the woman asking her to send letters to him because he was supposedly a Marine serving overseas.
The truth was that Timblin was in Wisconsin prison for an armed-robbery conviction, according to the news release.
After years of exchanging letters with the woman, Timblin got out of prison in 2019 and began dating her, keeping up the guise that he was a Marine.
That year, someone claiming to be Timblin’s captain contacted the woman asking for a loan to purchase a gift for Timblin in recognition of his heroism overseas, with the promise that the military would reimburse it, the sheriff’s office said in the release. The woman sent a check for $5,000.
Timblin told the woman he had been on four deployments to Afghanistan and one to Iraq, and he brought dress blues with a Purple Heart for a trip to her family’s cabin, according to the release. Timblin even got the woman’s stepmother to give him $6,500, which he claimed he needed for estate planning following his mother’s death, and which he said he would pay back.
The stepmother found the obituary for Timblin’s mother and learned she had only one son, named Jacob Elliot, who was on probation for armed robbery. She alerted the sheriff’s office.
Sheriff’s office Sgt. Keith Uhan, a Marine veteran, reviewed a photo of Timblin’s dress blue “A” uniform.
“Things were popping out as kind of weird to me,” Uhan told Marine Corps Times.
The uniform had no rank on the sleeve, suggesting the uniform was that of a private, which didn’t line up with Timblin’s claims about his service, Uhan told Marine Corps Times. It had combat-related medals but lacked a medal Uhan would have expected to see, like a Good Conduct Medal or a National Defense Service Medal. It had some of the same medals and ribbons on at the same time when there should have been just one or the other.
Uhan headed over to the Marine recruiter’s office in nearby West Bend, Wisconsin, and confirmed there that Timblin had never served. He also showed the photo of the uniform to a Marine recruiter, who agreed it looked “all kinds of messed up,” Uhan recalled.
Timblin — who previously was named Jacob Elliot but changed his name after he began the scam — was arrested in January and remained in custody rather than pay the $5,000 bond, according to the court docket.
Timblin received his sentence the same day he gave his no contest plea.
“The outcome could not have been reached without the thorough investigation by Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy Stephanie Kalish and Sergeant Keith Uhan,” Kristian Lindo, the assistant district attorney who prosecuted the case, said in an email to Marine Corps Times on Monday.
Once he is released from prison, Timblin will be prohibited from possessing any military uniforms or paraphernalia, according to the online docket.
Lindo said he thought the sentence handed down Friday was “certainly appropriate.”
Public defender Edgar Beltran, who represented Timblin, declined to comment.
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.