have you been charged with military financial fraud?
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, contact us. Our experience and history of positive results are a strong indication that we can make a meaningful difference in the outcome of your case.
What Are Financial Fraud Crimes Under UCMJ?
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:
- Larceny (Article 121, UCMJ)
- Wrongful Appropriation (Article 121, UCMJ)
- The Fraudulent Use of Credit Cards, Debit Cards, and Other Devices (Article 121a, UCMJ)
- False Pretenses to Obtain Services (Article 121b, UCMJ)
- Drafting or Drawing of Checks without Sufficient Funds (Article 123a, UCMJ)
- Frauds Against the United States (Article 124, UCMJ)
WHAT IF YOU ARE ACCUSED OF BAH FRAUD?
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.
We have experience litigating military financial fraud could review your case, provide counsel, and develop an effective defense for these types of offenses.
If you’ve been accused of financial fraud, don’t wait. Call Us Immediately!