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March 2013
Tim Bilecki

Airman Accused of 10K Theft Guilty of Stealing a Shirt, Stays with Air Force

Conspiracy and Larceny of over $10,000 of Government Property
Hickam AFB, Hawaii
Air Force Airman First Class – E-3
Not guilty of all serious charges, guilty of shoplifting one polo shirt. Sentenced to a reprimand, one grade reduction and a $119 fine. No punitive discharge.

In this case, the government believed an Airman to be the mastermind behind a large-scale larceny ring responsible for the theft of over $10,000 worth of items from the NEX. Unfortunately for the Airman, a CCTV showed him switching price tags on items, and he and his fellow Airman were stopped and questioned by NEX security. The Airman wisely invoked his rights to a lawyer and retained Tim Bilecki, a noted court martial defense attorney in Hawaii, but his buddy took a different avenue and provided statements incriminating the Airmen. Those statements led investigators to an extensive investigation into a large-scale conspiracy and larceny operation amounting to over $10,000 of stolen property.

Law enforcement pressured numerous other Airmen involved, who eventually snitched on the defendant. Despite what appeared to be damning video evidence and extensive snitch testimony, Bilecki’s client refused to be an informant and snitch, turned down all deals to plead guilty, and the case went to trial.

False Official Statements

Prior to trial, Bilecki had his investigator conduct extensive background investigations into the snitches and learned that several of them had criminal records and also that they sold narcotics and were involved in other criminal conspiracies.

At trial, the powerhouse Bilecki team essentially put on a clinic on how to cross-examine snitches and exposed the government informants as liars whose testimony was bought through immunity and promises of leniency. At the end of the trial, the Airman was found not guilty of all of the felony charges against him and only found guilty of stealing and conspiracy to steal a polo shirt. He received a one-grade reduction, a reprimand and no punitive discharge.

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