Hearing wraps up for airman accused of writing bad checks
June 20, 2006
RAF LAKENHEATH, England — Air Force legal officials Monday concluded testimony in the Article 32 hearing of an airman accused of making over $27,000 in withdrawals on accounts without enough money to cover them over 15 months in 2004 and 2005.
Prosecutors allege that Staff Sgt. Aaron M. Newton of the 48th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, along with an unnamed accomplice, wrote scores of checks drawn on accounts with insufficient funds at two banks, one of them in the States, and cashed them at local Army and Air Force Exchange Service locations.
In total, Newton and the accomplice are accused of writing checks or otherwise knowingly making fraudulent charges on the accounts a total of 94 times, mostly in checks written for $300, the maximum a person can cash a check at AAFES on any given day, according to the charges and court testimony.
The list of withdrawals and charges considered suspect by the Air Force begins with a few scattered instances starting in May 2004, but at the same time the next year the number of alleged incidents rises dramatically.
For example, prosecutors allege the pair made 36 withdrawals for a total of $10,473 in July 2005, and 25 charges for $7,040.49 in just the first 11 days of August.
Testimony in Monday’s hearing came from the special investigator assigned to the case and an AAFES “loss prevention manager” who said he first reported the alleged fraud after noticing numerous dishonored checks in the name of Newton or the accomplice.
Investigating officer Capt. David Routhier now must decide whether there is enough evidence to prosecute the case in a court-martial.