CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea — An Army helicopter pilot in South Korea who used fake business documents to bilk fellow soldiers out of thousands of dollars in an investment scam was sentenced to nine months in jail and dismissal from the military, Army officials said.
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Anibal Candelario Jr. was sentenced July 15 after pleading guilty to wrongful appropriation during a court-martial at Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek before military judge Lt. Col. Thomas Kulish.
Candelario, a Black Hawk helicopter pilot assigned to the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, had opted to be tried by judge alone instead of a jury.
During a scam that ran from January 2005 to October 2007, Candelario bilked a total of about $125,000 from a captain and three warrant officers, Army officials said.
The fraud involved detailed investment schemes for real estate development projects in Tampa, Fla.; Enterprise, Ala.; and Italy, the officials said.
Candelario created fake contracts, financial statements, had detailed housing plans, copied a federal judge’s signature, and created the false impression his dealings had the backing of Daewoo International and Wells Fargo Securities, according to the officials.
In one instance, Candelario used bogus court documents to convince one of his victims that about $500,000 had been stolen from his firm.
Also a part of the scam was a phony letter that purported to be from the president of Daewoo International and was used to "validate" the false claim that Candelario’s company was in business with Daewoo, Candelario testified.
As of last September, all victims but one had been fully repaid; the other has thus far received partial repayment, officials said.