07 May 2015

U.S. troops stealing millions of dollars

Charboneau contributed to thefts by U.S. military personnel of at least $15 million worth of fuel since the start of the U.S. war in Afghanistan. And eventually she became one of at least 115 enlisted personnel and military officers convicted since 2005 of committing theft, bribery, and contract rigging crimes valued at $52 million during their deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to a comprehensive tally of court records by the Center for Public Integrity...

Additional crimes by military personnel are still under investigation, and some court records remain partly under seal. The magnitude of additional losses from fraud, waste, and abuse by contractors, civilians, and allied foreign soldiers in Afghanistan has never been tallied, but officials probing such crimes say the total is in the billions of dollars... those who investigate and prosecute military wrongdoing say the convictions so far constitute a small portion of the crimes they think were committed by U.S. military personnel in the two countries...

So far, officers account for approximately four-fifths of the value of the fraud committed by military personnel in Iraq, while in Afghanistan, the ratio was flipped, with enlistees accounting for roughly the same portion, according to the Center’s tally. The reasons for the difference are unclear. But Sopko said he expects more officers to be investigated for misconduct in Afghanistan as the U.S. military mission there continues, so the ratio could change. Soldiers who had little or no prior criminal history, like Charboneau, say the circumstances of their deployments made stealing with impunity look easy, and so they made decisions that to their surprise eventually brought them prison sentences ranging from three months to more than 17 years...
More depressing reading at the Center for Public Integrity.

3 comments:

  1. at least they weren't stealing wheelbarrows! :-) :-)

    p.s. they shipped over truckloads of pallets of cash. wt-hey-dee-hay-and-high-dee-hoe were they expecting?

    I-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dallasite JerryMay 8, 2015 at 3:17 PM

    This is not new. See WWII.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Theft is so endemic to the military experience it's hard to overstate. From inter-barracks "black ops" or "acquisition raids" to post-deployment and out-processing turn-in shenanigans, every soldier I knew had their eye out for plunder all of the time.

    Officers tended to skim from budgets or get creative with company purchases. Enlisted soldiers walked off with anything that wasn't nailed down. When a soldier went AWOL from my unit, a dozen soldiers swooped in to nick all of her equipment; after all, she would be footing the bill when she was inevitably apprehended.

    Some of it was baked in because units were chronically underfunded, and soldiers paid pretty meager amounts considering the job at hand. Most of it was simply a sport. Theft is the national sport of soldiers everywhere, I suspect. Well, that and drinking. And carousing.

    ReplyDelete

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