ARMY CAPTAIN STEALS $400K IN AFGHANISTAN
SMUGGLED CASH HOME IN DUFFEL BAG - DAVID
GILLIAM CAUGHT AFTER GOING TO BANK TO
PURCHASE CASHIER'S CHECK - BOUGHT LUXURY
HOME IN HAWAII - ADMITS GUILT IN FEDERAL
COURT - FACES UP TO 13 YEARS IN PRISON FOR
MONEY LAUNDERING AND INCOME TAX EVASION
It all seemed so simple at first. Army Capt. David Gilliam knew, from his job as disbursing officer at the 125th Finance Bn. at Kandahar Air Base, Afghanistan, there are frequent currency value fluctuations between U.S. dollars and Afghan money.
All he had to do was manipulate the figures on his books to make the "losses" look normal, while he skimmed off the difference. And between April 2004 and the following year, Gilliam was able to grab up $400,000 in Uncle Sam's greenbacks. Cold, hard cash.
To get it out of the country, the captain smuggled it to Hawaii - he was based at Schofield Barracks - in his duffel bag. No one was the wiser. Gilliam cooked the figures and it seemed like the perfect crime.
But then he did a stupid thing.
BIG CASH DEPOSIT RAISES "RED FLAGS" WITH FEDS
Any kid that watches crime movies on TV knows that all American banks have to report any financial transaction over $10,000 to the Feds. No exceptions. Since $400,000 in cash is a lot of money to launder, Gilliam got lazy and took it all to the Hawaiian Bank branch on Oahu and turned it in for a cashier's check.
The not too bright officer wanted to purchase a luxury home.
Just as soon as the dubious bank deal was reported to the authorities, federal agents started to close in on Capt. Gilliam.
The sticky-fingered soldier admitted his guilt, when confronted by the Feds. He explained how he managed to amass such a large amount of dollars. In a plea deal struck with the government, Gilliam outlined his scheme and how he did it, in hopes for a lighter sentence.
He could face up to 13 years in the slammer for money laundering and income tax evasion.
Come January, when the former officer is sentenced in federal court, we'll see if he gets any significant time shaved off his prison stretch in exchange for "cooperation" with investigators.
MILITARY OFFICERS AND CONTRACTORS NAILED FOR CORRUPTION
This is just another example of corrupt U.S. military officers and contractors, stealing us blind in Iraq and Afghanistan..
The lure of "easy money" has ensnared many (see our "related stories box" below). For example, dear reader, we reported about West Point graduate, Capt. Michael Dung Nguyen, an ethnic Vietnamese, who was busted for skimming off huge amounts of money meant for Iraqi reconstruction and civic projects.
Another Army officer, Capt. Lee DuBois, pled guilty last October to stealing $39.6 worth of fuel from Camp Liberty and selling it for a tidy profit on the Iraqi Black Market. The officer's net take on the deal was $450,000, but now he has lost everything, and will have a long time in prison to reconsider and regret his greedy ways.