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U.S. Army Archive

Former Army Soldier Indicted on Bribery and Related Charges for Facilitating Thefts of Fuel in Afghanistan

(DoJ) – April 11, 2013 – Stephanie Charboneau, aka Stephanie Shankel, 34, of Fountain, Colo., formerly a Specialist in the United States Army, has been indicted in the District of Colorado for her alleged role in assisting the thefts of fuel in Afghanistan and laundering the proceeds of crime, Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Criminal Division announced.

According to the indictment returned on April 9, 2013, and now filed publicly, Charboneau was assigned to Forward Operating Base (FOB) Fenty, in eastern Afghanistan, as part of the 704th Brigade Support Battalion.  Her duties included overseeing the movement of fuel by private Afghan trucking companies from FOB Fenty to nearby military bases.  The indictment alleges that Charboneau conspired with Sergeant Christopher Weaver, her supervisor, and Jonathan Hightower, a civilian employee of FLUOR Inc., to facilitate the theft of fuel for money.  Charboneau and her co-conspirators allegedly received money from a representative of an Afghan trucking company to enable that company to steal truckloads of fuel.  The conspirators allegedly authorized the movement of truckloads of fuel from FOB Fenty – ostensibly to nearby bases – knowing and intending that when the fuel left FOB Fenty it would never reach the designated base and would instead be stolen.  These events occurred from approximately February 2010 through approximately May of 2010.

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Former U.S. Army Captain Sentenced in Oklahoma City to 23 Months in Prison for Conspiracy to Accept Illegal Gratuities

(DoJ) – April 1, 2013 – A former U.S. Army Captain was sentenced today in Oklahoma City to serve 23 months in prison for conspiracy to accept thousands of dollars in gratuities from contractors during his deployment to Baghdad, Iraq, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma Sanford C. Coats.

Sean Patrick O’Brien, 38, of Lawton, Okla., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Stephen P. Friot in the Western District of Oklahoma.  In addition to his prison term, O’Brien was sentenced to serve three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $37,500 in restitution to the United States.

O’Brien pleaded guilty on Nov. 9, 2012, to a criminal information charging him with two counts of conspiracy to accept illegal gratuities.

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Former U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Pleads Guilty in Tennessee to Bribery Scheme

DoJ – February 20, 2013 – A former U.S. Army staff sergeant pleaded guilty today to accepting thousands of dollars in bribes from contractors while he was deployed to Iraq, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee William C. Killian.

Richard A. Gilliland, 44, of Fayetteville, Tenn., pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan K. Lee in the Eastern District of Tennessee to a criminal information charging him with one count of conspiracy to accept illegal bribes.

According to court documents, from October 2007 until November 2008, Gilliland was a U.S. Army staff sergeant who worked with the Civil Affairs Unit at Camp Victory in Iraq and also was assigned as a pay agent responsible for U.S. government funds. As a pay agent, Gilliland was responsible for paying contractors to perform work in accordance with civil development objectives set forth by U.S. Army commanders in furtherance of the strategic mission of Coalition Forces in Iraq.

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Ernesto Londoño – (The Washington Post) – January 19, 2013 – George Lee, a Kuwait-based U.S. defense contractor who was reaping millions as America’s quagmire in Iraq deepened, sent an e-mail to an Army major who awarded bids in Baghdad, warning her not to visit him.

“None of us want Uncle Sam, or anyone else, looking where they should not be looking,” he wrote in one of the trove of messages and intercepted phone calls that exposed the biggest fraud conspiracy from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

So far, 22 people have been indicted and $67 million has been recovered in that single scheme, which remains under investigation.

But the little-known agency that uncovered the scam is about to close its doors, even though Lee remains a fugitive and 91 additional criminal investigations into the disappearance of Iraq reconstruction funds remain unsolved. Read the remainder of this entry »

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Photo from We Meant Well

U.S. Army Major Pleads Guilty in South Carolina to Defrauding U.S. Government

WASHINGTON – A U.S. Army Major has pleaded guilty today to accepting thousands of dollars in gratuities from contractors while he was a U.S. Army captain deployed to Iraq, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney for the District of South Carolina William N. Nettles.

Ulysses S. Hicks, 40, of Sumter, S.C., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Chief Judge Margaret B. Seymour in the District of South Carolina to a criminal information charging him with one count of conspiracy to accept illegal gratuities.

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