AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy — A senior airman with the 31st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron was sentenced to 15 months in prison and fined $10,000 in a general court-martial last week for repeatedly lying about his wife’s residence in order to receive more money from the government.
Jeconiah Yehudah pleaded guilty to six charges — all related to making false official statements to receive a higher basic housing allowance while stationed at Aviano and at Osan Air Base in South Korea. He was also reduced in rank to E-2 and given a bad-conduct discharge, according to a release issued by the 31st Fighter Wing public affairs office.
The judge had sentenced him to 17 months of prison, but a pre-trial agreement limited his total confinement to 15 months.
Yehudah admitted to receiving in excess of $30,000 by claiming that his wife lived with his parents in Brooklyn, N.Y., when she actually lived in Colorado Springs, Colo. The military provides servicemembers with extra money to support family members living in more expensive areas around the globe, and the government calculated its losses based on the difference it pays between the two locations.
There were no witnesses called during the court-martial, and Yehudah admitted his guilt via a written stipulation of fact. He served in South Korea from 2004 until 2006, when he arrived in Aviano.