GI jailed in theft of housing funds
February 8, 2009
PYEONGTAEK, South Korea — An Army staff sergeant was sentenced to jail and loss of rank and pay Friday after a military jury found him guilty of bilking the government out of thousands of dollars in housing allowance.
Staff Sgt. Lamont Barefield-Peace, 35, was sentenced to 179 days in jail, reduction from pay grade E-6 to E-4 and forfeiture of $2,218.50 for two months following his court-martial at Camp Henry in Daegu.
He was support operations material readiness sergeant with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 19th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) in Daegu.
He had been charged with larceny and making false official statements.
The jury convicted Barefield-Peace of swindling the government out of about $55,000 in housing allowance payments by claiming in paperwork that his family lived in San Francisco, although they actually lived in Killeen, Texas, officials said.
Based on that paperwork, the government paid him housing allowance at higher rates.
The wrongdoing occurred from September 2005 to September 2007 and was discovered during an audit, officials said.
The trial began Thursday before military judge Lt. Col. Thomas M. Kulish and a jury of four officers and four enlisted soldiers.