April 06, 2006

"Yeah, THAT'S the ticket!" Redux

Anniston man, used as expert witness in court, exposed as fake

The Associated Press

ANNISTON, Ala. (AP) — Robert Madrid had a dream resume. Harvard Medical School graduate. Doctorate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Atlantic Coast Conference scholar-athlete. Member of the high-IQ society, Mensa.

The problem was, it really was a dream resume.

The 42-year-old former resident of Glenwood Terrace in Anniston, who has testified as an expert witness in Talladega and Jefferson county court hearings, pleaded guilty in Talladega County Feb. 22 to charges of first-degree perjury. He had been arrested almost exactly a year earlier, after prosecutors discovered that his long list of credentials were fabricated.

"Fortunately, he was discovered before he testified at a jury trial. He could have done some damage to our criminal justice system," said Talladega County District Attorney Steve Giddens.

Prosecutors and friends have compared Madrid to Leonardo DeCaprio's character in the movie, "Catch Me If You Can," because almost everything about his life turned out to be fake, down to the antique engagement ring he gave to his second wife, Selina Volz.

Madrid, a Maryland native, who did not graduate from college at all, according to a childhood friend, was charged with five counts of first-degree perjury in connection with five false statements made during one 2005 civil trial in Talladega.

An indictment said he lied about holding a "Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuropsychology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology," at a civil case involving the estate of the late Anniston anesthesiologist Dr. John Bryant.

Giddens office plans to recommend a five-year sentence with a year in prison at Madrid's sentencing hearing, set for April 19.

Calhoun-Cleburne Assistant District Attorneys Brian McVeigh and Lynn Hammond discovered that Madrid's purported accomplishments were fabrications as they prepared for an upcoming murder trial.

Something about him, according to McVeigh, "just didn't feel right." They started making phone calls to his claimed alma maters, Harvard and M.I.T. Neither had any record of Madrid even attending. [...]

In high school, Madrid would buy college books and memorize names of professors so that he could approach college women in the nearby bars in the college town where he grew up. He attended the University of Maryland with [childhood friend Edward] Machoskie, but left during their sophomore year. He told friends he was transferring to Georgetown University.

Machoskie and Madrid did not communicate for years at a time, but when they reconnected, Madrid, who lived in Minneapolis and Salt Lake City, claimed to be a millionaire, a conservative radio talk-show host, a convert to Judaism, and president/CEO of Eagle Gate Associates, an auditing firm. [...]

But, apparently, never claimed to be married to Morgan Fairchild.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at April 6, 2006 12:28 PM