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December 2019
Tim Bilecki

1LT Charged for Receiving BAH While Out of the Army, Bilecki Gets Case Dismissed

Larceny - BAH Fraud
Edwards Air Force Base, California
Air Force First Lieutenant – O-2
Case Close Without Probable Cause

In one of our more intriguing Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) cases, an Air Force Lieutenant was investigated for BAH fraud two years after receiving entitlements. This case was unique because the Lieutenant had previously been court-martialed, convicted, and sentenced to prison. We did not represent him in that trial, but during his confinement, he continued to receive BAH, to which he was clearly not entitled. After leaving confinement, the BAH funds kept coming, despite multiple requests to finance to cease the entitlement and recoup the money. Interestingly, even after separating from the military, he continued to receive BAH. The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) just couldn’t stop paying him, despite his not being entitled, sending multiple requests to stop payment, and even being discharged from the military. Two years after his court-martial, finance finally realized he was not entitled to the funds and stopped the BAH, which also initiated an investigation for BAH fraud. The intriguing part was determining if the Air Force even had jurisdiction over the officer, as he had received his DD-214 but had not had his final pay and accounting since he just kept getting paid.

BAH fraud defense lawyer Tim Bilecki was retained, and we immediately conducted an audit of his account and compiled a timeline of all attempts he made to cease the payments. Fortunately, this officer had not spent any of the money and kept it in a separate account. This fact was critical, as it demonstrated that he had no intent to use the funds and kept them in a separate bank account. Once we were finally able to get DFAS to place a debt on his account, he was able to immediately pay back the debt in full. Upon settling the debt and explaining the circumstances to law enforcement, the case was closed out without probable cause.

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