Man accused of posing as a veteran - WFSB 3 Connecticut

I-Team Investigation

Man accused of posing as a veteran

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Earlier this month the I-Team exposed a local therapist who was posing as a member of the United States Army Special Forces.

The investigation by I-Team is being used by a state representative from Bridgeport, who wants to change state law.

State Rep. Jack Hennessy said he can sum up the need for the stolen valor bill he's supporting at the Connecticut General Assembly in two words: Greg Banks.

"It just robs the valor of the men and woman who wear the uniform," Hennessy said.

Hennessy added that the allegations involving Banks were "very much" upsetting.

The bill existed before the I-Team exposed the counselor who's been posing as a member of the United States Army Special Forces. Hennessy cited the investigation by the I-Team as an example of why it's needed.

The I-Team first got a tip about a man named Greg Banks showing up at the Danbury Mason's Lodge in uniform, sporting a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. Members said Banks was bragging about his work for the United States Army Special Forces, but the investigation by the I-Team showed he's never served his country.

The Pentagon told the I-Team they have no record of a Gregory C. Banks. When the I-Team uncovered his divorce records, the station found that he mentioned nothing about military service there either.

However the I-Team did find his license as a professional counselor, and it was clear those who knew him in that role had heard his military tales.

When I-Team talked to people at the counseling office for Banks in Farmington, they insisted he was a member of the United States Army Special Forces, a job so secret they asked us to not to report about it.

Banks said on his website that he specializes in treating child and adult patients, specifically those with traumatic experiences and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The I-Team met Hennessy at the Port 5 Naval veterans in his hometown of Bridgeport. He's a new member and he showed the station around their museum where among other displays they have actual versions of the medals Banks wears on his phony uniform.

"When I was a Ranger, I knew that I could be called by my country to go into a combat zone to give up my life and I was willing to do that," Hennessy said. "To have people who have not been in the military to pose as that, it takes away from the people who have actually made their commitment and some the ultimate commitment giving their lives."

Since the original story by I-Team aired, the station has heard from multiple people who had counseling sessions with Banks at his offices in Farmington and in Danbury and all believed at the time that he was a soldier.

A man, who saw Banks for marriage counseling, said he often canceled appointments saying he had last-minute missions overseas.

A woman, who was ordered by a court to see Banks for substance abuse counseling, said he told her he worked with the United States Army Special Forces and the Brookfield Police Department.

Banks does live in Brookfield, but the local police chief told the I-Team his department has never had any contact with Banks.

A mother of a teenage boy, who was seeing Banks for counseling in Farmington, said he often told her son about his military service.

The I-Team also heard that Banks was using a military  ID to access military discounts at the Danbury AutoZone store and was frequently spotted shopping in full uniform at the Highland Park Market in Farmington.

All this from a man who the Pentagon's national personnel records center said never served in the U.S. military. The tipster who first contacted the I-Team about Banks, tried to make a report to the Danbury Police Department, but said he was told he needed to contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which he did, but so far hasn't heard back.

That's part of why Hennessy said he is pushing his bill on the state level, because it makes prosecutions easier.

"It would enable our local police and give them the means to arrest people," Hennessy said.

There is an active and open investigation into Banks by the Department of Public Health. Any patients of Banks should contact the DPH Practitioner Licensing and Investigations Section at 860-509-7552 or 860-509-7612.

If you have information that you would to share with the I-Team on this story or any others, click here.

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