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October 2020
Tim Bilecki

Army SSG Faces BAH Fraud, Bilecki Claims Unintentional Error

Larceny and BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing) Fraud
Schofield Barracks, Hawaii
Army Staff Sergeant – E-6
Chapter 10 approved in the BAH fraud case.

In October 2020, an Army Staff Sergeant stationed at Schofield Barracks found himself under investigation for alleged BAH fraud. The issue centered around him receiving BAH for the San Francisco area, while there were claims that his ex-wife never resided there.

Court martial lawyer for UCMJ Article 121 military fraud and larceny cases, Tim Bilecki, was brought on board to address this complex situation. Bilecki traveled to San Francisco to conduct interviews with the Staff Sergeant’s wife and her family members, uncovering that she was indeed in the San Francisco vicinity but not in the precise location initially claimed. This discrepancy, though minor in terms of distance, led to a substantial differential in BAH entitlements, contrasting the San Francisco metro area with its suburbs.

The defense posited that the Staff Sergeant’s error was unintentional, stemming from an initial plan for his wife to live in the metro area before residing with a family member in a different suburb. While it was evident that the Staff Sergeant received an overpayment of BAH, the intent to defraud remained questionable.

Despite the complexity of the case, court martial charges were preferred at a general court martial. However, Bilecki successfully negotiated a Chapter 10 discharge in lieu of court martial, which involved the withdrawal and dismissal of all charges in exchange for the Staff Sergeant’s separation from the Army.

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