The revelation of an intricate web of lies and deception has brought down a gay man who once campaigned for prominent elected officials, the New York Times reported.

Rick Duncan claimed he was a wounded Iraq veteran, a 9/11 survivor and a decorated Annapolis graduate, but it was all a lie.

Strandlof, Duncan's real name, helped create the Colorado Veterans Alliance with his fake credentials. For three years he spoke out against the Iraq war and rallied for veterans rights without being questioned.

Last month, Strandlof, 32, was detained by the FBI and subsequently arrested by the Denver police on an outstanding warrant for driving with a suspended license, after several veterans unraveled his story. He remains in jail and is expected to be arraigned in Colorado on Tuesday.

Strandlof became a favorite spokesman of Democratic politicians, appearing in campaign commercials for Colorado Representative Jared Polis, who is openly gay, and Colorado Senator Mark Udall.

He said in interviews that he developed the persona of Rick Duncan after becoming obsessed with the plight of veterans: “I would ask them, 'What is your story? How do you feel?'”

In fact, documents reveal Strandlof, whose resume is loaded with assumed identities and fictional accolades, more closely resembles a petty criminal than a war hero, and appears to suffer from mental illness.

“Sometimes I don't know what reality I am,” he said.

But whether Strandlof's deception broke any laws remains nebulous. Many taken in continue to defend his motives.

“What's so heartbreaking is he was doing some good things,” Hal Bidlack, a Democrat who ran unsuccessfully for Congress from Colorado last year on an antiwar platform, told the Times. “I just hope he's not undermined the [veteran] agenda.”