West Point Graduate Steals $690,000 of Army Funds

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by PDub, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. PDub

    PDub Prospective

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    Heard this on the news today. Capt. Michael Nguyen, based in Ft. Lewis, Washington, of the 4th Stryker brigade, stole $690K while in Iraq. He was deployed to Muqdadiyah as a battalion civil affairs officer, and quite simply took, in $100 bills, from an emergency fund designed for urgent humanitarian and reconstruction needs in Iraq and Afghanistan. With the money, he bought a 2008 BMW M3 (good choice - one of the best sports cars around, IMO), and a 2009 Hummer H3T (okay, that's just a waste of money), among many, many other things (furniture, electronics, etc). I guess even among the best of the best, there will always be a bad apple once in a while. Link: http://www.komonews.com/news/40792597.html
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2009
  2. packermatt7

    packermatt7 USAFA Cadet

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    Idiot.

    It's pretty easy to figure out who took the money when you have a guy on government salary cruising around in new sports car and a new Hummer.
     
  3. PDub

    PDub Prospective

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    The money was squential - printed one after another, and the IRS started tracking him after thousands upon thousands were spent in sequence, which raises suspicion.
     
  4. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Eh, I'm not a huge fan of BMWs. :rolleyes:
     
  5. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Not very smart.

    With that much cash, he could of at least went for the M5 or the Audi S8.
     
  6. packermatt7

    packermatt7 USAFA Cadet

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    Aston Martin would've been better.
     
  7. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Instead of getting two cars, just get one really good car.
     
  8. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Or a nice bag of bank accounts:

    a. Grand Caymen
    b. Panama
    c. Switzerland

    Oh, wait...that might be construed as "hiding" money! :shake:
     
  9. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    You all are missing the real way to hide the money.. the SPOUSE! The military can't look into their account if the AD is not on it...he should have proposed and married, and then told her for survivor benefits it would be best if they had their own acct for tax purposes:wink:

    He also could have had a defense that she somehow got into the system by hacking his computer!
     
  10. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Pima- you're starting to worry me- this sounds like you have put some serious thought into this!!:eek:
     
  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Now you understand why on our 10th wedding anniversary I told Bullet to be worried...very worried because he was worth more to me dead than alive:shake: It is a common joke that spouses will state at parties...YOU KNOW I AM BETTER OFF IF YOU WERE DEAD! jk

    FYI...AD spouses who have 10 yrs as a spouse is entitled to 50% of retirement pay...also when you add SGLI into private insurance it is a tidy sum:rolleyes:....Obviously Bullet meant more to me alive than the insurance!
     
  12. PDub

    PDub Prospective

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    Offshore banking accounts like a Swiss account would probably be the easiest and cleanest way to go - nobody questions those accounts, plus so many big wigs have deposits there that $690K would be nothing.
     
  13. Maui1

    Maui1 Member

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    your all too funny! Can't believe this guy would do this.
     
  14. WAMom68

    WAMom68 Founding Member

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    This man has no honor. :thumbdown: He is also very stupid if he thought he could get away with this.
     
  15. LongGreyLine Hopeful

    LongGreyLine Hopeful Member

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    I guess this shows how closely some people follow the honor code even after the Service Academies or SMI's.
     
  16. PDub

    PDub Prospective

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    I know - how can someone live with something like this on their conscience, and still continue to steal/squander for seven years?
     
  17. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Easy...it is called no scruples!
     
  18. J Collins

    J Collins Founding Member

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    I could go and beat him up.. Ft Lewis is only a few minutes...WAmom can come from the south... :)
     
  19. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    A very sad story, and I'm sure it's not the only one we'll hear about.

    From my own personal experience "over there", the situation has been similar to the "Wild West" for some time, especially the first few years. Slowly improving, but at a maddingly slow pace.

    The money issue was a particular problem I saw. Quite literally PILES of money, haphazardly laying about in military coffers, with oversight being an afterthought. For some, the temptation proved too great.

    True story time: While I was there at Camp Victory (Military Coalition HQ) in the spring of 04, the administration directed that the American forces pump money into the local economy through a "purchase program". Every unit was given fresh printed American cash to go out and purchase goods and services from the local populace. The amount of money your unit was given was directly in proportion to the size of your unit. My unit was the Group HQ staff, about 45 people directly at my location (they didn't count the other 250 people I was in charge of, as they were spread throughout the country and would receive their own money).

    So, I send my Chief Master Sgt and Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Army CA's office for a meeting on how and when we could expect the funds. The come strolling in later that afternoon, and stop by my office.

    Me: "So Chief, how did it go? Are we getting any funds, we could use some new furniture here."

    Chief: "Great, sir! They're gave us $20K!"

    Me: "Really? Great news! Do we need to set up an account somewhere or file some paperwork to get access to the fund site? I'd like to get moving on this before everyone else here buys up all the good stuff."

    Chief: "Oh no, sir! They gave me cash!"

    Me (Shocked): "Cash???!!!"

    Chief: "Yep" And he proceeds to pull a thick roll of brand new hundred dollar bills out out of his pants pocket. True Gangsta style...

    Me (even more shocked): "Jeepers Christmas! (Not really what I said, but close). They just GAVE you a roll of money? What's you're plan for keeping track of this"

    Chief: "Easy. We go out and spend it and get a receipt.The Army said they'll take any receipt, even a hand written note."

    Me (getting more and more amazed at the idiocy of the whole situation by the minute): "Well, what's your plan for documenting and controlling this cash"

    Chief (smile growing by the minute): "Just as simple. I'll hold the cash, the Senior will keep and track the receipts"

    Me (seeing the potential for fraud, waste and abuse on a scale that would put Maddoff to shame): "Well, once you come up with a plan for the spending, let me know. I want to get the best bang for the (multiple) buck"

    Chief: "No worries sir. The army said once we spend all this, they'll just give us more, no questions asked. And they said they'll keep doing that until told to stop."

    Me (envisioning my future potential court martial for not stopping this in its tracks): "Uh, let's me add a FEW wrinkles to you plan to track this. Sit down Chief. Oh, and hand over that cash...."

    Just a single example of the "temtpations" that were there in regards to the ridiculous amounts of cash just being thrown around that place with little to no oversight. For most, integrity and honesty kicks into high gear and you naturally do the right thing (the little Bullet on my right shoulder was nearly apoplexic, jumping up and down while screaming, "Bullet! Don't even Go there!" I think he even went over and punched the not-so-nice Bullet on my other shoulder in the face and told him to shut up:biggrin:). For a sorry few, the temptation to take "just a little, nobody's tracking this, and there is SO MUCH they'll never miss it" was just too great. I guess they listened to the guy on the wrong shoulder...

    And I'm spent (again)....
     
  20. PDub

    PDub Prospective

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    The dialogue looks like it could be something from Jeseph Heller's "Catch-22". Was Milo Minderbinder the merchant that was making all the money while on tour?
     

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