A ”war hero” who claimed to have raised £500,000 for Help for Heroes has been arrested for fraud, it emerged yesterday.
Matthew Brown, 34, boasted he had rescued 88 comrades on one of his staggering six tours of Afghanistan and also claimed he had served in Northern Ireland, Iraq and Bosnia.
But he has now been arrested arrested in Newquay, Cornwall, on suspicion of fraud.
Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed Brown, of Edinburgh, was bailed until May 5 to give officers time to investigate his movements and activities over recent months.
Brown was yesterday due to appear before magistrates in Scarborough on unrelated charges of two counts of false representation.
A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said it was suspected that Mr Browne had been allegedly ”masquerading” as a former war veteran and ”hero of numerous campaigns”.
Brown had given numerous interviews about his quest to walk the 10,500 miles around the UK and Ireland to raise funds for the veterans of current Armed Forces conflicts.
Claiming to have started in Edinburgh, he has been inundated with support, including from dozens of celebrities such as Victoria Beckham, Andy Murray, Carol Vorderman, Michael Caine and Gabby Logan. His Twitter page has 7,432 followers, even including the likes of Barack Obama and by the official 10 Downing Street site.
He has repeatedly claimed he has served 22-years in the forces despite the fact that he is only 34 years old and claimed to have operated under heavy gunfire to save the lives of grievously injured men.
Brown boasted last week: “When I was going through discharge my commanding officer told me I had rescued 88 soldiers in combat and it occurred to me that once I flew them back to Camp Bastion for treatment I never saw them again.
“The next thing they would be in MoD hospitals and then flown back to Britain. I thought what better way to try and raise some funds for guys I’ve seen from one end of the scale and now hopefully I can see them again with some of the money I’ve raised getting proper care and treatment.
“I’m extremely lucky. Another five or six soldiers have been killed since I started my walk, including one on Remembrance Sunday, and every time I hear another soldier has been injured or killed it just spurs me on.
“A lot of people stop me in the street to wish me luck but the one that sticks in my mind was in Great Yarmouth in Norfolk, where a woman who had lost her 22-year-old son in Afghanistan came out and hugged me. ”
He claims to have flown both Lynx and Apache helicopters, although the latter are never used for evacuating casualties, and says he was a member of the “22nd Army Air Corps regiment”, which does not exist.