Surname: Nicholson
Christian Names: Michael John
Country: Australia
State or Province: NSW
City or Town: Bellevue
Service: Army Reserves
Case Notes:

This photo taken off his fake Army ID card. The card will not be displayed for Defence Security reasons

Michael John Nicholson, aka Michael Cohen, 39 years old of Bellevue Hill, as a highly decorated Australian Army Colonel commanding respect reserved for our loyal servicemen . 

The truth of the matter is that Mike Nicholson is an impostor who served one year with the Army Reserves before he was discharged in 1987. He was never an officer and never saw active service. He was also never awarded medals that he wore when masquerading as a Colonel. 


He was exposed as an impostor in an article published by the Sydney Daily Telegraph on the 22nd March 2006 as "Colonel Con".


When NSW Police searched his home they located an assortment of uniforms, Military ID cards and a number of medals including the Order of Australia and the Conspicuous Service Cross as well as a live military issue smoke grenade. As a result of their investigations he is facing 21 fraud related charges.

He appeared before the Chief Magistrate at the Downing Centre Court and has been remanded to appear in court again in May.

The story states he led the RSL Anzac Day Parade at Bronte in 2005. The group he led was the Bronte Surf Life Saving Club at Bronte Beach.



From this photo above you can see that he is wearing a number of medals but due to the poor quality of the photograph it is difficult to identify all the medals.

They appear to be the"Member of the Order of Australia", "Conspicuous Service Cross", "Australian Active Service Medal", "Defence Force Service Medal", the others are harder to identify, but they are mostly likely the East Timor Medals and the Interfet Medal. He is also wearing the Infantry Combat Badge.

He is also wearing the AIRN Badge ( "Army Individual Readiness Notification") which indicates that he is classified ready for operational service.


He is also wearing the green Commando beret with what appears to be a Staff Officer Badge and on the right arm the SAS parachute wings which also appear in another photograph. 

Again this photograph is of poor quality to properly identify all the medals which are indicated by the ribbons he is wearing.

His dress and bearing leaves a lot to be desired of that expected from an Officer or any serving member of the ADF. His Service Dress looks shabby and his Sam Browne belt could do with a bit of work. His long sleeved polyester shirt is showing which is very untidy.

In this photograph of him wearing his short sleeved shirt, his personal presentation is woeful in that the shirt is not properly pressed with the collars flat and it is ill fitting. Obviously Nicholson has no pride in the way he presents himself as a bogus Colonel.


Nicholson has made a mockery of security at Defence establishments if he could enter and obtain free tailoring of uniforms and name plates using false identity cards. If he can do it so can someone else. In today's climate, it has proved a point that Security must be taken more seriously not just at Defence establishments but at all places that are classified as high risk security targets.

Nicholson for his own reasons has shown disrespect to veterans, various organizations and the Australian Defence Force by carrying out this charade, not to mention shaming himself, his family and friends.

It is now up to the Justice system to show people like Nicholson that this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated to tarnish the good reputation built by our proud serving and ex-service men and women of the Australian Defence Forces .

If anyone has any further information on Nicholson and his activities it is your duty to inform the NSW Police prior to his next court appearance.

You can also notify us at

25 May 2007

Nicholson faced the Sydney Central Local Court on the 3rd March 2007 and pleaded guilty to seven charges relating to his 2006 impersonation of an Australian Army Colonel.

Local Court Magistrate, Ms Jaye Carney, was scathing in her description of Nicholson's actions and described how hurtful his actions had been to the veteran community, particularly his disgraceful act of leading an Anzac Day parade in a bogus Army uniform.

Despite her harsh words, it seems the judicial system has once again failed veterans by the imposition of a very lenient sentence on Nicholson, who is one of the more outrageous wannabes featured on these pages.

Not only did Nicholson wear false medals and uniforms, he fraudulently obtained false ID and regularly infiltrated Army bases to obtain uniforms and equipment. We can only hope that that service police have plugged the loopholes exposed by Nicholson's deceptions , and we also wait in hope for some serious sentencing of wannabes in the future.

Sydney Morning Herald article here:

30th Aug 2009

Be aware that Michael John Nicholson is now known as Michael Cohen  and  mickeyacohen. 
Nicholson - Cohen as well as changing his name, our man in Sydney observes that he has “embraced” the Jewish religion claiming that he has returned to his roots. 

His name change is more likely to have something to do with the exposure he got for his criminal offences in relation to impersonating a veteran, and his religion change and its authenticity is questionable. 

Nicholson – Cohen resides in the Bondi area of Sydney NSW and is still up to his old tricks of fraud and subterfuge.
Don’t be fooled by Nicholson aka Cohen as he is a tenacious con man who has been convicted for his fraudulent behaviour.

We are reliably advised that Nicholson - Cohen is currently known to be active in the Sydney area weaving misery into peoples lives.

If you have had problems with Nicholson - Cohen, we would like to know about it at also we seek an up to date photo


This is published in the public interest, particularly that of the  Veteran Community. All information presented here is fact and the truth. Reports from private citizens are supported by statements of fact and statutory declarations.


Located in: Stolen Valour
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