Democrat activist fakes his own death and flees to Mexico after claiming he raised $1.3 million from first responders, lying about military service

Richard Parina, 78, reportedly admitted that he "f*cked up" and "stole valor."

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
A San Francisco-based Democrat activist faked his own death and fled to Mexico after claiming to have raised $1.3 million from first responders.

Richard Parina, 78, also lied about serving in the US military, claiming to be a retired Army brigadier general who received three Purple Hearts.

In January, a report emerged that Parina died as a result of lingering injuries sustained in the Persian Gulf War. However, the San Francisco Standard revealed that Parina is still alive and has been living in Mexico.

Parina confirmed to the publication that he is, in fact, alive and blamed his "adopted nephew" for spreading rumors about his death, saying "If he just kept his big mouth shut, nobody would have paid any attention."

But further questions were raised about the excuse after Parina reportedly sent an associate an email earlier this week claiming that he was on his deathbed in San Jose del Cabo.

The San Francisco Standard revealed that nearly every claim Parina made about his life was fabricated. This includes receiving 21 military medals, going to war in Vietnam and Iraq, being the recipient of multiple Purple Hearts and a Silver Star, and growing up in the city.

Parina reportedly admitted to the outlet that he "f*cked up" and "stole valor."

"I f*cked up and stole f*cking valor," said Parina. "And I put it on my hat, and I’m as sorry as I’ve ever been in my whole f*cking life that I did that."

Parina was last publicly seen on January 17 at the Mission District bar El Rio during a District 9 supervisorial debate.

He announced during the meeting that he was no longer able to devote time to social media and distributed business cards that included his personal contact details. That evening, his accounts on X and NextDoor were deleted.

The next day, a post made by "Richard Francis," who claimed to be Parina's nephew, wrote on X: "My uncle, Brigadier General (ret) Richard Parina died on January 17, 2024, the 33rd Anniversary of Operation Desert Storm, where he commanded the 175th Forward Supply Battalion, attached to the 1st Armored Division. He was awarded his third Purple Heart and second Bronze Star."

The death announcement resulted in an outpour of support from the community, including from San Francisco Supervisor Matt Dorsey.

Furthermore, Parina's assertions that he had successfully raised $1.3 million for the Catholic Alumni PAC sparked skepticism. He informed a correspondent from The Standard and several associates, prior to his disappearance, that he intended to finance moderate political campaigns with an emphasis on public safety.

Parina told the publication on Thursday that his claims regarding fundraising were authentic, but he had "no idea" what happened to the funds. He claimed to be in deteriorating health and used the funds he had promised to give to judge candidate Albert "Chip" Zecher to purchase medications.

Additionally, the outlet revealed that retired police and fire personnel, former tech executives, and a North Beach restauranteur had all contributed to the PAC.
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