A sea of lies has likely sunk the career of Navy Cmdr. Michael Ward II, who allegedly faked his own death to get out of an extramarital affair.
The woman he allegedly lied to says that's conduct unbecoming an officer. "He does not need to be commanding a submarine," the woman told The Day of New London, Conn. "He's a deceitful man."
Ward, 43, of Gales Ferry, Conn., was named commander of the attack submarine USS Pittsburgh last October. A week later, he allegedly dove into a relationship with a woman 20 years younger on a dating website.
Navy Cmdr. Michael Ward II allegedly told the 23-year-old woman he was separated. In reality, he's married with children, The Day reports.
But that didn't stop Ward from sending romantic text messages and meeting up with the woman in person. The woman claims Ward also got her pregnant, though she later lost the baby.
Soon, however, Ward apparently realized he was in over his head. That's when he allegedly tried to fake his own death -- via email, supposedly from a coworker named "Bob."
"I am extremely sorry to tell you that [Ward] is gone," Bob's email read. "We tried everything we could to save him. I cannot say more. I am sorry it has to be this way."
Saddened by Ward's purported death, the woman drove to Ward's home in Virginia to offer condolences, Fox News reports. The home's new owner told her Ward was alive, and had just moved to Connecticut for his new submarine command.
If these allegations are true, Ward seems to have committed a few fraudulent acts. But for a fraud to become legally actionable, a victim generally must suffer some sort of injury or financial loss. It's not clear what Ward's alleged mistress would claim as an injury.
Instead of legal action, the woman reported her affair with Cmdr. Michael Ward II to the Navy and to local news reporters. Pursuant to Navy policy "regarding the character of our commanding officers," Ward has been reassigned to desk duty, a Navy spokesman told The Day. A Navy investigation is underway.