CORRUPT EX-COLONEL CAUGHT WITH HIDDEN
CASH COMING BACK FROM IRAQ - ARMY VET
ROBERT GROVES NABBED WITH $100 BILLS IN
HIS LUGGAGE AND ON HIS PERSON - FEDERAL
JUDGE IN PHILADELPHIA SLAPS FORMER BIRD
COLONEL ON WRIST WITH 5-MONTH JAIL TERM
AND $30,000 FINE - "I DID A STUPID THING," HE
SAYS - CLAIMED SMUGGLED GREENBACKS
WON IN "HIGH-STAKES" POKER GAME - FEDS
SAY $50K STASH OF UNREPORTED CASH
CAME FROM CONTRACTOR'S "MOONLIGHTING"
Federal agents were waiting for ex-Army Col. Robert Groves at the Philadelphia Airport when he returned to the States from Iraq. When they caught him with stacks of $100 bills hidden in his luggage and on his person, the former brass hat said: "I won the (loot) in a high-stakes poker game." The cops didn't buy that explanation, and soon Groves admitted the stash of cash was undeclared money he'd made "on the side" while working for a Pennsylvania company with government contracts in the Middle East.
One would think a retired full-bird with a fat pension to fall back on wouldn't be so greedy as try to fool Uncle Sam and the IRS, but Groves took a chance and found out he came up short. Still, he got off with a relative "wrist-slap" when Judge Harvey Bartle III ordered him to do five months in jail and pay a $30,000 fine. In addition, Groves forfeited the unreported $50,000 he tried to sneak into the country.
He could have been sent away for up to 16 months, according to federal sentencing guidelines, for smuggling cash into the USA.
Grove's defense attorney, Mark Cedrone, told the court his client's actions was "an aberrant and momentary loss of judgment."
The 63 year-old career officer worked as project manager for West Chester, Pa. based Weston Solutions Inc. but was affiliated with Environmental Quality Management Inc. when he was arrested. As of press time, MilitaryCorruption.com was unable to find out if he was still employed by the company. But a letter to the court from the contracting firm said: "We are willing to stand by him even though he has committed a crime."
Maybe when Groves gets out of jail he can go back to Iraq with Halliburton. We doubt if they would have many compunctions about hiring someone who was less than on the straight-and-narrow.
During his interrogation by customs agents last March, the ex-colonel said he'd won the Bronze Star during the first Gulf War. However commendable that may be, apparently the lure of "easy money" was just too tempting for the senior field-grade.
He said in a statement that he'd "buried" the cash in the backyard of his Baghdad villa before digging it up and trying to sneak the "moola" into the United States.