GI pleads guilty in housing fraud case
CAMP HENRY, South Korea — An Army staff sergeant assigned to the 19th Theater Support Command has been court-martialed for claiming more than $12,000 in fraudulent housing allowances over 18 months, officials said Thursday.
Staff Sgt. Sharon F. Darmon, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, pleaded guilty to two counts of larceny and five counts of false official statements.
Darmon was sentenced to a bad-conduct discharge, eight months confinement and reduction to E-1, officials said.
The sentence will be reviewed by the general court- martial convening authority before it becomes final, said Maj. Tom Shrader, a 19th TSC spokesman.
A convening authority cannot increase the punishment adjudged by the court but can reduce a sentence after receiving legal advice, reviewing the case and considering submissions by the attorneys or accused.
Darmon filed a false housing allowance claim and false Family Separation Allowance claim while in-processing at Camp Humphreys in February 2001, said Maj. Anthony Febbo, the 19th TSC’s deputy staff judge advocate.
In March 2002, Darmon transferred to Camp Henry. On documents signed in July 2002 and November 2002, she again signed falsified records in order to claim the higher housing allowance and separation pay, officials said.
Agents from the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command, known as CID, began investigating and charges were filed in December 2003, officials said. Darmon’s trial began Tuesday.
Military officials in South Korea have been cracking down on housing-allowance fraud in recent years.
In South Korea, 75 percent of the cases over the last year involved soldiers ranked specialist through sergeant first class; 25 percent comprised officers and warrant officers with ranks up to major, officials have said.
The Army flags paperwork listing families in expensive housing areas, then CID agents investigate whether the family actually lives at the addresses given.