As someone who has served in the military, guys like this are in my opinion, real life scumbags. You go around pretending to be someone you're not when in reality you could have done like many of us and signed up to enlist but was probably too chicken-s**t to do so. I hope this serves as warning to others about "stolen valor".

What Is Stolen Valor?

Joe Raedle, Getty Images
Joe Raedle, Getty Images

Stolen valor is a term for the behavior of military impostors: individuals who lie about their military service. The Stolen Valor Act of 2013 makes it illegal to fraudulently wear medals, embellish rank, or make false claims of military service to obtain money, employment, property, or some other tangible benefit.

33-year old Derek Robert Hamm was using stolen valor to defraud investors

Derek Robert Hamm

According to,  Hamm held himself out to be a former member of the Army Special Forces who had served multiple tours of duty in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other countries. He claimed to have been awarded a Purple Heart, a Silver Star, and a Bronze Star for his service. In reality, Hamm received none of those awards.

The Lies Hamm Told Don't Stop There

Blue west Texas pumping unit
Getty Images/Sean Hannon

Hamm also falsely claimed to be related to Harold Hamm, the billionaire oilman in Oklahoma, which he claimed gave him access to financial resources and oil industry expertise. Hamm’s phony persona of being a wealthy war hero helped him create an extensive network of friends who introduced him to potential investors. Hamm then defrauded those investors in schemes related to the oil and gas drilling industry. Hamm did not invest funds as promised. Instead, once Hamm received investors’ funds, he spent the money on lavish personal gifts, including nearly $500,000 on jewelry and vehicles for himself and his family.

Hamm Is Also A Convicted Felon Who Owned Firearms

Major Gun Show Held In Virginia
Getty Images

Hamm was convicted in Smith County in 2020 for theft of property, a state felony. As a felon, Hamm is prohibited by federal law from owning or possessing firearms or ammunition. Hamm was also convicted in 2005 for assault of a family member, a domestic violence misdemeanor under state law. According to federal law, Hamm is also prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition due to his domestic violence conviction.

Hamm Now Faces A 33 Count Indictment

Michael Jackson Trial Continues
Getty Images

So a known felon using stolen valor to run a scam is also caught with guns he isn't supposed to have could lead to a LOT of jail time. A federal grand jury has returned a 33-count indictment charging him with wire fraud, money laundering, violations of the Stolen Valor Act, using a fraudulent military discharge certificate, and being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition. If convicted, Hamm faces up to twenty years in federal prison. A grand jury indictment is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Were You A Victim Of Hamm's Fraud?

Financial scam

If you or someone you know has been a victim of Derek Robert Hamm, please contact the FBI at 903-594-3503. Derek Robert Hamm is also known as D. Wayne Hamm II, Wayne Hamm, D. Wayne H., DW Hamm, and RD Hamm.

19 Fugitives Wanted by the FBI With Ties to Texas

Take a look at these fugitives, some have rewards of up to $5 million dollars.

Tyler Police Department's Most Wanted

There were twelve fugitives on the list that we called the 'Dirty Dozen'. Since then, the list has dwindled down to eight, but we're sure it'll be back to a dozen soon. In the meantime, here are the eight most wanted criminals in Tyler. Each had active warrants as of July 09, 2021

Here Are the Most Wanted Criminals in the U.S.

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