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August 2011
Tim Bilecki

E-6 Accused of BAH Fraud After Moving Wife to Japan Gets No Punitive Discharge

Larceny and BAH Fraud
Yokota AFB, Japan
Air Force Technical Sergeant - E-6
Sentenced to two grade reduction, 45 days restriction, no punitive discharge.

An Air Force Technical Sergeant stationed in Japan was charged with BAH and FSA fraud for over $30,000.

Prior to the allegations being made, the Air Force Technical Sergeant was stationed at Yokota, Japan, and his wife was residing in Texas, properly receiving Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) and Family Separation Allowance (FSA) for her Texas location. The problem occurred when the client moved his wife to Japan with him, and she stayed for nearly one year while still collecting the BAH and FSA for Texas where there was no longer a residence.  After an audit on his account, the Technical Sergeant became under criminal investigation.  OSI financial crimes investigators brought the Airman in for questioning and upon being interrogated by OSI, he admitted to BAH and FSA fraud.  A confession that was recorded and later played to the jury at his trial.  

After being retained on the case, attorney Tim Bilecki, known for Article 121 UCMJ, 124 UCMJ and military BAH fraud defense, conducted our own financial calculation of the alleged fraud and determined that the amount of the larceny was substantially lower than calculated by OSI.  We worked to have the case resolved outside of a court martial, but the command and prosecution were hell bent on a court martial.  

Attorney Bilecki traveled to Yokota, Japan to try the case and the prosecution played the video recorded admissions of our client.  To challenge this, our client testified during the defense case in chief.  We were able to get our client’s version of the facts out to a jury, which was that this case was not fraud but simply an overpayment by DFAS based on complicated regulations and the JFTR. Despite this testimony, and likely based on the recorded OSI  confession, the panel convicted our client of larceny.

The government subsequently asked for the maximum sentence. However, based on the extensive extenuation and mitigation that was put on during the trial, our client only received a two-grade reduction and 45-day restriction, with no punitive discharge.

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