Criminal Justice News

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Ex-Army Officers Arraigned on Charges of Stealing Over $2.7 Million in Defense Funds


Officers Allegedly Stole Government Funds While on Military Duty in Saudi Arabia

ATLANTA—Jasen Minter, 41, of Fayetteville, Georgia, was arraigned today before United States Magistrate Linda T. Walker on federal charges of conspiracy and theft of more than $2,700,000 from the U.S. government while serving as an Army captain in Saudi Arabia. Minter is charged in a federal indictment along with Louis E. Nock, 45, of Orlando, Florida, who served as a senior non-commissioned officer with Minter in Saudi Arabia. Nock was arraigned on the same charges yesterday before Judge Walker. Both defendants were released on bond.

United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said of the case, “Military officers carry heightened responsibilities to their fellow servicemen as well as the public, including the duty to be diligent and honest with every taxpayer dollar. The Army’s mission in Iraq is simply too important for its own officers to steal critical resources from their fellow servicemen and, as alleged in this case, line their own pockets with cash.”

According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges, and other information presented in court: In 2006, then-Captain Minter and Sergeant First Class Nock were finance officers assigned to the U.S. Military Training Mission (USMTM) in Saudi Arabia. The indictment, which was returned by a federal grand jury on May 1, 2012, alleges that, while serving in Saudi Arabia, Minter and Nock embezzled over $2,700,000 from a U.S. government bank account at the Saudi Arabia American Bank (SAMBA) in Riyadh. Funds in this government account were to be used to operate the USMTM finance office, which supports U.S. troops. The indictment alleges that Minter and Nock conspired to withdraw the $2.7 million in two transactions but never delivered the monies to the finance office. Instead, they shipped it back to the United States to fund luxurious lifestyles for themselves and their families.

The charges carry a maximum possible sentence of five years in prison on the conspiracy count, 10 years in prison on each count of theft, and a fine of up to $250,000 on each count. In determining the actual sentence, the court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.

Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendants are presumed innocent of the charges, and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendants’ guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

This case is being investigated by special agents of the Army Criminal Investigation Command, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Air Force Office of Special Investigation.

Assistant United States Attorney David Leta is prosecuting the case.

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