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YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — A soldier who worked in Camp Red Cloud’s post office was found guilty Wednesday of taking approximately $150 worth of South Korean won from another soldier’s bank account using a stolen debit card.

Pvt. Adrian Lyles, of the 19th Adjutant General Postal Company, was sentenced to a reduction in rank to E-1, forfeiture of $867 in pay for four months, restriction for 60 days to his place of duty, and hard labor without confinement for 90 days.

He is the first of three soldiers who worked at the post office to be tried for stealing money using debit cards and personal identification numbers stolen from the camp’s mail room.

Lyles pleaded guilty to giving a false statement to investigators and concealing approximately $100 worth of South Korean won. Prosecutors had asked the jury panel to give Lyles a bad-conduct discharge, forfeiture of two-thirds of his pay for six months, and 10 months of confinement.

Before his sentencing, the 19-year-old told the panel that taking the money was “the most idiotic choice of my life,” and asked them let him remain in the U.S. Army and clear his name.

“I am a fool for what I did,” Lyles said. “What my grandmother told me is that once a man is labeled, it is hard to get that label off him.”

Pfc. Jerriett Hand, another postal worker and the second soldier allegedly involved in stealing the money, was the only witness. Hand testified Wednesday that he and Lyles took a half-hour subway ride from Uijeongbu on July 28, and Hand withdrew the equivalent of about $450 in South Korean won from an ATM near the subway. He gave Lyles one-third of the money.

Hand will be court-martialed in January, and the third soldier also will be court-martialed for his alleged role in the scheme.

Defense attorney Capt. Brian Tomasovic said Hand’s testimony was unreliable because he agreed to testify against Lyles in exchange for getting a special court-martial instead of a general court-martial. Defendants typically can be sentenced to stiffer penalties if convicted in a general court-martial.

“A fair descriptive term for this witness is, he is a snitch,” Tomasovic said.

Hand said he received $100 from Lyles on Tuesday that he would use to help repay the bank for thefts totaling about $1,600.

All three soldiers were transferred to Yongsan Garrison’s post office late last summer.

Sgt. Jeremy Johnson, Lyles’ supervisor, testified the private is one of his “go-to” soldiers and does his job with pride.

“Lyles made a mistake, but at the same time, everybody can recover from a mistake,” he said. Lyles does not handle money or accountable property or mail at Yongsan, he said.

Sgt. 1st Class Christopher True, who is stationed at Camp Red Cloud, learned the money had been stolen from his account during a trip to the bank. Two checks he wrote to the Army and Air Force Exchange Service bounced, and he had to pay bank fees because of the theft, he testified.


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