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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Civilian Court-Martial Defense Lawyers: Senior NCO Accused of Travel Voucher Fraud Has Discharge Characterization Upgraded


Recently, a senior military noncommissioned officer (E-9, NCO) who was accused of fraud/larceny (UCMJ Article 121) based on claims of travel voucher fraud during a period of time on which he was activated from the Reserves on Title 10 orders had his discharge characterization upgraded and his highest enlisted rank restored. 

Originally, the accused military client faced court-martial trial for the larceny/fraud allegations.  The Article 32 hearing was fully litigated, and, with the assistance of an expert consultant who reviewed years of disputed travel vouchers, the government's theory on the bulk of the allegations was exposed as fatally flawed, based not only on the government lacking evidentiary support, but also lacking a true understanding of the application of the JFTR (Joint Federal Travel Regulation) to the circumstances of the case.  

The military senior NCO client was represented and defended by military criminal defense attorney Richard V. Stevens (Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens, PC).  Based on defense submissions before, during and after the military Article 32 hearing, and as the court-martial trial date approached, the government relented and accepted an administrative compromise for the remaining allegations.  The court-martial charges and case were dropped in favor of an administrative disposition. 

The client was ultimately discharged, and although he avoided a federal criminal conviction, prison time, punitive rank reduction, and/or bad conduct discharge or dishonorable discharge, the case did impact his ultimate discharge characterization and rank, as well as his retirement through the Reserves. 

Now, based on the successful discharge board appeal, the client has upgraded his discharge characterization, restored his rank to E-9, and is once again retirement eligible.  A huge, well deserved, victory for a career of military service.  

While the outcomes of this court-martial case, and the subsequent administrative appeal, were successful, it is important to understand that every case has different facts, and success in previous cases does not guarantee success in any particular future case.  No military lawyer or civilian defense lawyer, including those who specialize in military law, can guarantee the outcome of any military trial or case.

For more information about the military justice system, particularly cases alleging fraud, larceny, wrongful appropriation, or other similar alleged offenses, please type the relevant search term into the search bar above the blog posts.  Also see:

We offer free initial consultations for a case you may be involved in.  Just call us.

Thank you.    

By: Attorney Richard V. Stevens 
Civilian criminal defense lawyer and military defense lawyer
Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens, P.C.

Blog postscript: Attorney Frank J. Spinner and I (attorney Richard V. Stevens) are former active duty military lawyers (JAG). Our perspectives and advice, therefore, are based upon our experience as military defense lawyers and as civilian criminal defense lawyers practicing exclusively in the area of military law and military justice. This blog addresses issues in military law, military justice, military discipline, military defense, court-martial practice, the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and other military and/or legal topics. Nothing posted in this blog should be substituted for legal advice in any particular case. If you seek legal advice for a particular case, please contact The Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens and The Law Office of Frank J. Spinner for a free consultation. These military defense law offices are located in Northern Florida (Pensacola, Ft Walton, Destin, Eglin AFB, Hurlburt Field, Duke Field, Panama City, Tyndall AFB areas) and Colorado Springs, Colorado (FT Carson, Peterson AFB, Air Force Academy, Schriever AFB, Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Buckley AFB areas), but our military defense law practices are worldwide – we travel to wherever our clients are stationed or serving and need us.

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