Medal Cheats

Medal Cheats

Surname: HEPBURN
Christian Names: William
Country: Australia
State or Province: Tasmania
City or Town: Winkleigh
Service #: 63230
Service: Australian Regular Army
Branch: Infantry
Commencement of service: 1978
Completion of service: 1979
Case Notes:


William Hepburn was born in 1958, and according to him, joined the Australian Regular Army in 1978, where, he, served for twelve months in Australia and in Rhodesia. In Rhodesia he went on special missions and the other soldiers with him were killed, and he is the only survivor. He is being treated for severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of his special missions.



Hepburn claims that after completing training at Recruit Training Battalion Kapooka, and Infantry Training Centre Singleton, he was posted to 6th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR).

In 1978, as a member of 6 RAR, Hepburn and five other Private soldiers were deployed to Rhodesia, for special operations and to train "local soldiers". They were seconded to the British Army, and from there were further seconded to the Rhodesian Army

The six traveled to Rhodesia by C130 Hercules aircraft, and on arrival were dispatched to a remote camp, where they lived in "hutchie" tents and remained for six weeks. During the six weeks, groups of "local soldiers" carrying an assortment of weapons would arrive for training and then randomly disappear as others arrived. As previously stated his five fellow soldiers were killed in action during this time.

A researcher spoke to Hepburn on four occasions, on the first three occasions Hepburn spun some graphic yarns about his twelve months in the Australian Army, which included being deployed to Rhodesia on a special mission in 1978. During the fourth discussion, the researcher suggested to Hepburn, that he was a liar. After much humming and hawing, Hepburn, said he was sure he had done the service, but may be "mixed up". He followed up with the email shown below:

" Good morning xxxxxxxx,
in regards to our recent phone conversation ,firstly thank you for your time and for being so straight forward with me, i am struggling to come to terms with this. i have lived with the belief that this actually happened for all of these years and now that you have given me the facts that it didnt i am totally confused.
it has never been my intention to falsely claim anything in regards to benefits or recognition, i dont know what to say . i am both ashamed and confused .
Xxxxx please accept my humblest apologies ,i dont have the words to say how i am feeling or even comprehend any of this .
if it is ok with you i would like to keep in touch from time to time .


Hepburn says he is very sorry, but as is often the case with wannabes, and liars, he is only sorry, that he has been caught out after many years of basking in the kudos, of his false heroic military adventures in Rhodesia

It is of interest that 152 Australian Army Officers and Non Commissioned Officers, including some from 6RAR, were involved in the Peacekeeping Operation "Agila", in Rhodesia, but it was in December 1979.

"Operation Agila : The Commonwealth Monitoring Force in Rhodesia 1979–1980

In December 1979, the Commonwealth Monitoring Force (CMF) was established by the British Commonwealth, with troops drawn from Australia, Britain, Fiji, Kenya and New Zealand. The operation was codenamed AGILA. The role of the CMF was to keep the peace between the Rhodesian Government's Security Forces and 22,000 Patriotic Front guerrillas during the run-up to the 1980 general elections which would establish the governance of a new independent state. The elections were held in February 1980, with the two major parties being Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union and Joshua Nkomo's Zimbabwe African People's Union".

It appears that Hepburn has decided to join the operation a year early, and without doing the hard yards. As would be expected from an inexperienced private soldier with minimal service, his lies are easy to identify.

Hepburn has said he is being treated for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), relating to his Rhodesia service, and he suffers constant nightmares and flashbacks. He is not associated with any Veteran organizations, however, he is being counseled by the Tasmanian State Government sponsored, Veterans and Veterans' Families Counselling Service (VVCS) located in Launceston, Tasmania.

He has basked in the kudos of his false service, and conflict caused PTSD for more than thirty years, he can now experience the infamy of being a caught out liar, and wannabe.

Surname: KARSAI
Christian Names: Stephen Stan
Country: Australia
State or Province: New South Wales
City or Town: Ettalong
Service #: 314002
Service: Australian Regular Army
Branch: Military Police
Commencement of service: 04/03/1970
Completion of service: 10/03/1990
Case Notes:


In the 25 years that ANZMI has been in existence, numerous reports have been received regarding individuals who claim fraudulent acts of military service and other notable achievements.

No doubt these false pretenders intend to gain an advantage over others and undeserved respect.

If you live a lie, sooner or later you will be found out.

Stephen Karsai has claimed to be a “Doctor” since at least 2008. Alas, he is a fraud. He is also a military medal cheat and a liar. He claims Australian Military service in Kosovo and East Timor that is fraudulent. His credibility is in question.

His past has now caught up with him and he should hang his head in shame for fooling members of the local Central Coast NSW Business Community and veteran colleagues for many years that he has been awarded a genuine Doctorate (PhD) from a genuine University.

Karsai or Doctor Stephen Karsai as he prefers to be addressed, is a genuine Australian Army Veteran of the Vietnam War. He was a regular soldier who enlisted in the Australian Army in 1970. He was posted to Armoured Corps. (RAAC) as a Trooper, equivalent to a Private Soldier.

On the 2 June 1971, he was deployed to South Vietnam in C Squadron 1st Armoured Regiment. He served in that Theatre for 121 days and returned to Australia on the 30 September 1971.

His service was unremarkable, and he was not evacuated as a Battle Casualty.

On the 10 July 1972, he was posted to the Royal Australian Corps of Military Police. (RACMP) as a Private soldier. He discharged from the RACMP and the Army in 1990. He had attained the rank of Sergeant.

Karsai1A 2021 08 15


In the above photographs, Karsai wears the following medals.
1. Australian Active Service Medal 1945-1975 (AASM) Clasp Vietnam.
2. Vietnam Medal.
3. Defence Force Service Medal.
4. Australia Defence Medal (ADM)
5. Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. (RVCM.) Not entitled.

He is not entitled to wear the RVCM. He does not meet the criteria.


Karsai served in the former Republic of South Vietnam for 121 days. To qualify for this medal, members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) were required to spend 181 days minimum in country or be evacuated as a wounded battle casualty before the 181 days.

Every former ADF serviceman/woman who served in the former Republic of South Vietnam knows that the qualifying period for the RVCM is 181 days, or sooner if evacuated after sustaining wounds in battle. Karsai was a Sergeant in the Australian Army until 1990 as a Regular soldier, and beyond in Reserves. He well knows the criteria for the qualifying period for this medal. He has disregarded that criterion for his own ego.

The below photograph of Karsai in Australian Military Police uniform was taken just prior to his discharge in 1990. He is not wearing the offending RVCM in this photograph. He knew he was not entitled to it. On discharge he is photographed wearing the medal on civilian clothing.


He is also not qualified to the distinguished title of Doctor. (PhD) His Facebook page reveals that he was awarded a Doctorate from the Belford University in Security and Disaster Management. He has told others that he has been awarded an Honorary PhD degree in “Letters.”   This is also a fabrication.


Karsai was reported to ANZMI by veterans who are current members of the Vietnam Veterans, Peacekeepers and Peacemakers Association (VVPPA), who have genuine concerns about his entitlements to the RVCM, his claim of PhD (Doctorate) and his claims of service in Kosovo and East Timor.

He is a former President of the VVPPA Ettalong, NSW, and a Pension Officer. Ettalong is a country town situated on the New South Wales Central Coast, north of Sydney.

He was also a Director of the Ettalong RSL Memorial Club and sat as a Board Member and Director of the Central Coast Private Hospital as Doctor Stephen Karsai. JP.

He sat on the Board of “Active Vets Australia” as Doctor Stephen Karsai.


It is here on his curriculum vitae that he claims to be a Doctor and Australian Defence Force Service in Kosovo and East Timor. These claims are lies.

Karsai was contacted and requested to provide the following information –

1. His entitlement to wear the RVCM when he does not meet the 181-day criteria.
2. His entitlement to claim Defence Force Service in Kosovo and East Timor.
3. Evidence that he is qualified to the status of Doctor. (PhD)

In response, he informed a Researcher that he obtained the RVCM and his Vietnam Medal from a “Q” Store in Vietnam. For our nonmilitary readers, that is a Quartermasters Store that issue blankets, utensils, clothing etc. One thing they do not issue is medals. Strangely, the Australian Government has taken an interest in fulfilling that duty.

From Karsai email, (Spelling and text has not been edited.)“

I know I was deployed in April as I spent my 21bday in country and came home in November/December with two medals issued by Q Store in country If it’s proven to be correct I willIMMEDIATELY REMOVE THE RVCM FROM MY RACK I’ll commence inquiries to day I will also for ward what I have been awarded from Belford Uni

Another mistruth is that he spent his 21st birthday in Vietnam. This may seem insignificant, but this birthday was 30 April 1971. His Vietnam deployment was between June and September 1971. Should remember that one!


Every Vietnam Veteran knows when they were deployed and their medal qualifications.

He stated that he has now communicated with the Australian Department of Defence and was shocked after 50 years that he is not entitled to the RVCM. See below -;

"I will immediately take OFF the campaign medal I must say it has been a shock to me after all these years" (Not edited.)

It should not come as too much of "a shock after all these years" for Karsai. He purchased the RVCM at a Medal Dealer shop or on eBay and had it court mounted with his legitimate medals.

Karsai claims his PhD Doctorate (Security and Disaster Management) was from Belford University.

He could not provide any further information about his PhD including his “Doctoral Thesis” reference. He claimed his Doctorate cost him $20.000.00 dollars. (Email not edited) See below -;

But from the information you have given me and the contact details I have for the uni I believe my so called dr is not worth the paper it’s written on it seems that in the lat ninety and 2000s I have been scammed lost the hrs I put in and out of pocket $20k I have taken steps to inform a number of people

The problem for Karsai is that the non-existent Belford University ceased operating the sham “Pay for a PhD degree” in 2012. From his own admission, Karsai has continued to claim his Belford PhD well after that.
See below -;


Karsai made a post on a UFO website in 2008. That indicates he has been using his bogus PhD claims for at least 13 years that we know of.

Dr.Stephen S Karsai
10/1/2008 9:18:15 PM


Dr. Stephen S Karsai

Karsai’s response regarding his claims to Kosovo and East Timor -;

"Stephen Karsai
I have NEVER CLAIMED THAT I served in Kosovo or East Timor I have always said that I was on Operation Safehaven looking after the Kosovo and Timor refugees."


Since Karsai was recently contacted by a Researcher, he has removed the Republic Vietnam Campaign Medal. He has also removed all traces of his bogus Doctorate from his Facebook page.

Karsai has volunteered his time to assist Veterans for some time. He does not need to embellish his achievements with unearned medals, false claims of service and bogus educational qualifications.

He needs to publicly apologise to all the people he has convinced that he is a “Doctor.” and to all the Vietnam Veteran community for wearing the RVCM and claiming Kosovo and East Timor service when he knew it was false.

We will let out readers make up their own minds about the credibility of "former" Doctor Stephen Stan Karsai.

Surname: RYAN
Christian Names: Christopher
Country: Australia
State or Province: Queensland
City or Town: Thornside
Service: Australian Regular Army
Branch: Infantry
Case Notes:


Major Chris Ryan (retired) served in the Australia Army, in Australia, Malaya and Papua New Guinea. For his service he wears seven medals, however one is a dud.



The medals he wears are:

Australian Service Medal 1945-1975 with clasp PNG (ASM)
Australian Service Medal 1975 - with clasp SE ASIA (ASM)
Defence Force Service Medal with clasps 20 and 25 years (DFSM)
National Medal (NM)
Australian Defence Medal (ADM)
Papua New Guinea Independence Medal (1975)
PNGDF Anniversary Medal 1940 -1990 NON AUTHORISED TIN MEDAL



The last medal worn is the dud, it is the PNGDF Anniversary Medal 1940 - 1990 and must not be worn on the left breast. Here are both sides of the medal.



The medal was created and launched by the Pacific Island Battalion New Guinea Infantry Battalion Headquarters Pacific Island Regiment Association (PIB NGIB HQ PIR Assoc), an organization launched in 2015 honouring the military service of Papua New Guinea and Australian soldiers from 1940 to 1975.-

Here is current criteria for wearing the medal from the PIB NGIB HQ PIR Assoc:



The Governor General of Australia authorises the wearing of foreign medals. Here is his list for Papua New Guinea Medals.



Ryan's second last medal, Papua New Guinea Independence Medal (1975) is listed, however the last medal he wears, the PNGDF Anniversary Medal 1940-1990 is not listed.

Ryan is entitled to wear six medals, however he chooses to wear seven. The instructions for wearing the seventh medal, the PNGDF Anniversary Medal 1640-1990, are very clear, in that, if it is to be worn at all, it is to be worn on the right breast.

Bolstering medal racks with non approved "Tin" medals is a foolish action, as thousands of veterans all over Australia and New Zealand are agents for ANZMI, and will report transgressors like Major (retired) Christopher Ryan of Thornside Queensland.

Surname: HOLMES
Christian Names: Christopher William Ashley
Country: Australia
State or Province: Western Australia
City or Town: Hartfield
Service #: R63859
Service: Royal Australian Navy
Commencement of service: November 1964
Completion of service: February 1985
Case Notes:


Christopher William Ashley Homes is a retired Warrant Officer (WO), from the RAN where he served for twenty one years. Sailors can become WOs, after years of diligent service and achievement, as such they are held in high regard. Unfortunately Christopher Holmes has cast questions on his service and integrity by wearing a "mish mash" of medals:



Here is a close up of his medals rack:



Above his medals, he wears a Returned from Active Service Badge (RASB). The RASB must not be worn when medals are worn.

Here is a description of his seven medals:

Vietnam Logistic and Support Medal (VLSM) Worn in wrong place
Defence Force Service Medal (DFSM) Worn in wrong place
National Medal (NM) Worn in wrong place
Australian Logistic Support Force Medal (ALSM). None approved self purchased tin medal
Australian Service Medal (ASM). Wrongly positioned
Australian Active Service Medal (ASM). Worn in wrong place.
Australian Defence Medal (ADM).

An apt description of the medal rack is that it could be equated to a 'Dogs morning repast".

Except for one, all of the medals are wrongly placed and do not signify his service. Here is the order in which they must be worn.



This medal below which is included in his medal rack, must not be worn on the left breast, as it is a self purchased Tin medal, that was created by RAN ex service organizations, and was never approved by the Governor General.


Australian Logistic Support Force Medal - "Tin"

In due course the Governor General approved the issue of a genuine medal, the VLSM, to all who served in Vietnam and did not qualify to the Vietnam Medal or the Republic of Vietnam Campaign medal.

Holmes wears the AASM, VLSM and the tin ALSM for his Vietnam service. He is only entitled to wear the first two medals for his few days visit in Vung Tau Harbour aboard HMAS Swan in October and December, 1971. Reports of Proceedings from Swan's visits are detailed below


Visit October 71


Visit December 1971

After two days aboard an Australian warship in the Vung Tau Harbour, a reasonable person would believe that receiving two medals, and the title of Vietnam Veteran, would be sufficient, however HOLMES added a "Tin" medal to his rack, for reasons known only to himself.

HOLMES needs to straighten out his rack, and then remove the "Tin", his two by one day visits, to Vung Tau Harbour, and his two Vietnam medals, should be enough for his ego.

Surname: Lewsam
Christian Names: Geoffrey Charles
Country: Australia
State or Province: New South Wales
City or Town: Canley Heights
Service #: R53310
Service: Navy
Branch: Electrical Engineering
Commencement of service: 1957
Completion of service: 1963
Case Notes:



Three years ago we reported Lewsam for wearing unofficial self purchased medals on his left breast. On 24 April 2021 he was again photographed wearing the same set of medals.

It is incongruous that Lewsam, the Vice President of the Canley Heights, Returned and Services League (RSL) in New South Wales, wears these medals whilst on official duty at the RSL. It is disappointing, that other RSL Executives do not take action to correct Lewsam's flagrant and long term disregard for protocol and tradition.

Here is what he was wearing in 2018 when first reported. 


Here is what he was wearing in April 2021. 


The NSW RSL has clear Protocol and Procedure Regulations, concerning the wearing of medals.



Lewsam served in the Royal Australian Navy from 1957 to 1963 as Seaman Electrical Engineer. In the above photographs he is wearing six medals, whereas, his full entitlement for the left breast is four. In addition, he is also wearing, a Returned from Active Service Badge (RASB), which is not to be worn when wearing medals.

RSL's that take no notice of their own laws, are betraying the trust of their members.




Geoffrey Charles Lewsam served as a Leading Seaman in the RAN.  During his service, he had active service with the Far East Strategic Reserve (FESR) with a trip to Malaysian waters. 


Lewsam wears:

Australian Active Service Medal (AASM)

Australian Service Medal  (ASM)

Australian Defence Medal (ADM)

Pingat Jasa for service in Malaysian waters

Purchased "Tin" FESR medal   -  Not Authorised

Purchased "Tin" Commemorative Logistics medal for Vietnam - Not Authorised.

Lewsam is wearing four genuine medals and has added two "Tin" self purchased medals, here are the details of the two offending medals..

FESR Commemorative medal, self purchased for $65:


Vietnam Logistic Support Medal Commemorative medal self purchased for $60. It was a trinket to be worn on the right breast by RAN servicemen who had served in Vietnam waters. The whole thing was scrapped when an official Logistic Support medal was issued by the Government. Lewsam never served in Vietnam waters.


Lewsam is the Vice President of the Canley Heights Returned and Services League (RSL).  In the lead up to ANZAC Days he visits local schools in his official capacity to talk about Australia's involvement in wars.  He is blatantly falsifying his service and portraying himself in a false manner. Wearing these two fake medals can only be for the purpose of massaging his ego.

His mate, Mr Richard Pritchard, the President of the Canley Vale RSL has failed to correct Lewsam's behaviour.  The President is a genuine Vietnam Veteran and is well aware of Lewsam's deceit, but  does nothing.

Although the behaviour of most ex service persons is unquestionable, ANZMI will continue to detect and report those who, for their own vanity choose to erode protocols and traditions.

We welcome Geoff Lewsam to the good ship ANZMI where he is welcomed as a crew member with a long time to serve.

Surname: Burow
Christian Names: Graeme Robert
Country: Australia
State or Province: Queensland
City or Town: Aspley (Brisbane)
Service #: Nil
Service: Nil
Branch: Nil
Case Notes:


Exactly who is Commander Graeme Robert BUROW, RAN? Well, in the mind of Graeme BUROW, he is a highly respected Legal Officer and senior officer in the Royal Australian Navy. In fact, BUROW is a fraud, wannabe and thief who is more deserving of being in the dock, rather than on the legal benches.

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BUROW joins a long list of false pretenders on our pages who have used false military service to defraud unsuspecting people of their hard-earned money or steal their affections.

The BUROW naval adventure makes for great reading, if you are into fictional stories. He claims to have served in the regular Navy as a Navigational Officer for several years. During this ‘period of service’, he claims to have led boarding parties on a number of occasions and has been recognised for gallantry during such actions.

After his hectic life on the high seas, BUROW claims he left the Navy and found himself working for a taxi company. During this time, BUROW created for himself a couple of fancy qualifications including a Bachelor of Information Technology and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Technology.

Apparently, such a highly qualified legal advocate was quite happy to work for a taxi company than to actually ‘hang his shingle’ and practice law, but that is just one great anomaly with his story.

It seems BUROW is such a good Lawyer, that the Navy decided (or so he says) to return him to uniform as a Commander no less and a Legal Officer to boot. His social media communications with friends indicate that he was so needed by the Navy, they even waived his Selection Board and he was more than happy to accept praise for his appointment as Commander.

We hold Statutory Declarations confirming all of his false claims of military service and legal qualifications.

Burow2 2019 11 03
Burows3 2019 11 03

The fact is, Burow is a fraud and a valour thief. Like so many on our website, he has created a false military career in order to win the heart of the opposite sex. There is no record of Burow every having served in the Australian Defence Force, let alone as a Commissioned Officer.

We can only hope that any ladies who have the misfortune to meet Graeme Burow do not get sucked into to his web of lies. A quick Google search before meeting him will prevent years of heartache and stress.

Welcome aboard the good ship ANZMI, "Commander".

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