NCO in South Korea jailed for housing allowance scam
November 1, 2007
OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — A noncommissioned officer saw her 14-year Air Force career end Tuesday with jail and a bad-conduct discharge after she pleaded guilty at Osan Air Base to bilking the service out of housing allowance payments.
The scammed payments made to Tech. Sgt. Terri S. King of the 51st Logistics Readiness Squadron totaled $5,442.60, according to prosecutors.
King also was sentenced to reduction to the military’s lowest pay grade, and forfeiture of two-thirds pay for six months.
Under a pretrial agreement, King will serve five months in jail.
Military judge Lt. Col. Greg Friedland sentenced King after she pleaded guilty to larceny and making a false official statement.
King claimed in basic housing allowance and related paperwork that her children lived in Staten Island, part of New York City. It was later found that the children actually lived in Warren, Ohio, a city that entitles servicemembers to a lower basic housing allowance for dependents living there.
A routine audit of airmen’s housing allowance records raised suspicions. Law enforcement agents who went to the New York address found it was the residence of a King relative.
The offenses occurred between Sept. 11, 2006, and Feb. 6, and King has since repaid the money.
Prosecuting King were Capt. Kevin Burke and Capt. Erin Lai, both of Osan’s legal office.
King’s defense lawyers were Maj. Andrew Kalavanos of Yokota Air Base, Japan, and Capt. Nina Padalino of Kunsan Air Base, South Korea.
King was to be driven to the Camp Humphreys jail Tuesday to begin serving her sentence.