Wanted fugitive who claimed to be a Navy SEAL arrested in Virginia Beach

Posted at 9:38 AM, Jul 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-20 19:49:18-04

Virginia Beach, Va. - An Arizona con man who, according to federal agents, scammed money by pretending to be a Navy SEAL, was arrested in Virginia Beach not far from a base that trains real Navy SEALs.

Neighbors on Killey Court in the Lake Placid neighborhood said Phillip Ohman appeared a few weeks ago, but went by the name "Michael Ohman." He introduced himself to neighbor David Yost as a retired SEAL commander.

"He was very overpowering," said Yost, a sailor on the aircraft carrier Harry S Truman. "His personality was unlike any I had ever met as far as SEALs go. I've met several SEALs, many live in the area here. Most of them are very subdued and quiet. They don't like to advertise themselves.

"This guy was all about advertising himself," Yost said.

Yost said Ohman passed out a SEAL-themed business card, saying he did home improvements. The card, which Yost gave to NewsChannel 3, features a SEAL trident, the name "Michael Ohman," and noted his "40 years experience in counterterrorism" and executive protection.

But court and prison records obtained by NewsChannel 3 show he has 40 years experience in fraud, felonies and fake identities. Deputy U.S. Marshal Chris Leuer said Ohman has no record of military service.

Leuer said Ohman was indicted last month in Maricopa County, Ariz., for fraud and theft. Agents tracked him to Virginia Beach, a seemingly odd choice for a military-based scam since the city is home to half of the nation's Navy SEALs, including famed SEAL Team 6. Yost said he and others were growing suspicious of the new neighbor's stories, but before they unraveled his tales, police moved in.

"It definitely made us uneasy," Yost said.

From the Virginia Beach jail, Ohman declined our request for an interview. Prosecutors say he has agreed to return to Arizona to face charges.