Navigating charges of financial fraud made by the U.S. Military is daunting, and these accusations can have a significant impact on your current military and future civilian careers. Being tried before a military tribunal may result in a dishonorable discharge, and perhaps incarceration, which all have an impact on your future career and reputation.If you are in this situation, do not hesitate to reach out to our Honolulu-based military financial fraud lawyer. Due to his military experience as an enlisted Marine and Army JAG Officer, he could make a meaningful difference in the outcome your case. Because of his experience, our criminal defense attorney has the knowledge to guide you through the nuances of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), and the commitment to give your case the consideration it deserves.
Financial fraud crimes for military service members are subject to the UCMJ. In these cases, the government is responsible with the burden of proving that the accused had the “intent” to commit a financial fraud crime. To prove one’s intent to commit a financial crime, the government may need witness testimony and documentary evidence that fraudulent transactions took place. Depending on the crime, these cases may involve complex financial documents that require review from a financial expert. To receive a conviction, the government also must prove that the defendant committed a financial crime beyond a reasonable doubt. While most of these crimes do not involve violence, those that do may result in more harsh penalties. Some of the financial fraud crimes under the UCMJ include:
The most commonly charged financial fraud offense in the military involves Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) fraud. These offenses are charged as Larceny under Article 121, UCMJ. Because of the large amount of money involved with BAH, the government typically presumes that if someone receives any, they are at fault for any mistakes. Commanders conduct monthly finance reviews, and any discrepancies with BAH may trigger an investigation. Some high BAH locations, such as San Francisco, are routinely audited by DFAS.
During an investigation, the prosecution may go through every record someone has in the military, obtain marriage licenses, court records, leases, to prove the service member took illegal actions to obtain housing allowance. Mistakes made on military forms regarding family members and BAH are typically charged as false official statements under Article 117, UCMJ and used by the prosecutor to argue that someone lied to obtain BAH benefits they were not entitled to.
However, life is often much more complicated than that. Almost every servicemember has experienced the effect of mistakes made by their military finance/pay office. Furthermore, the regulations involving BAH are extremely complicated and even military finance experts get it wrong. Service members should not let the government’s mistakes ruin their life.
Our Honolulu-based lawyer with experience litigating military financial fraud could review your case, provide counsel, and develop an effective defense for these types of offenses.
Financial fraud is considered serious misconduct by the United States military. These offenses are typically considered to be the equivalent of civilian felonies and are tried by a general court-martial. The maximum punishments a general court-martial may enforce are:
Our dedicated attorney who is based in Honolulu could help any military member across the globe avoid or minimize the penalties of a financial fraud crime.
Financial fraud crimes under the UCMJ are serious offenses. As such, you should seek our experienced Honolulu-based military financial fraud lawyer to help navigate the complex court-martial proceedings. Our attorney could review the charges against you and provide you with legal advocacy that could help you maintain your reputation and freedom. If you are a service member in need of legal representation, call our office today. We help service members across the world who have been accused of all types of offenses. As a former enlisted Marine and Army JAG Officer, our Honolulu-based attorney understands the complex nuances of these legal proceedings.