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YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — A soldier who admitted this spring he gambled away more than $8,000 of a friend’s money acknowledged Tuesday in a court-martial that he also failed to repay more than $5,000 in loans from three other friends.

Pvt. Andrew Foster is charged with 10 specifications of larceny or wrongful appropriation, eight specifications of disobeying a lawful order, two specifications of failure to pay a just debt and a charge of perjury.

He pleaded guilty Tuesday to lesser charges: eight instances of wrongful appropriation and eight instances of “breaking restriction.” He also requested a jury trial, which was scheduled for Sept. 20 in front of Col. Patrick J. Parrish, chief judge for the 6th Judicial Court in Seoul.

The former specialist, who once worked in Camp Henry’s judge advocate office in Taegu, still faces the more severe charges, according to 8th Army public affairs officials. Foster now is serving a six-month sentence after being found guilty of wrongful appropriation in an April court-martial.

In the Yongsan Garrison courtroom Tuesday, Foster told Parrish he borrowed money from three friends — a former Korean Augmentee to the U.S. Army and two Korean women — and failed to pay them back.

“I knew I was just going to take that money and gamble,” Foster said.

He also said he left Yongsan Garrison while under orders from his commander to remain on the base in Seoul at all times. Most of those times he left base he gambled, he told the judge.

Foster told Parrish he made up stories, including one about losing his ATM card, to persuade his friends to lend him money. He used the cash to gamble with the hopes of winning back enough money to pay off other debts, he said, debts that already had prompted criminal charges.

No details about the perjury charge or two specifications of failing to pay just debt were discussed in court Tuesday. Foster’s attorney, Maj. Tami Dillahunt, declined Tuesday to comment about the case.

Foster told the judge he had continued borrowing, and then betting, more than $5,000 in loans from friends in late 2004, January and February. He was hoping to win enough money to both repay the newly loaned money and pay back a doctor from whom he had borrowed $8,200, he told the judge.

The former KATUSA “was under the impression he was going to get that money back,” Foster told the judge about one incident of borrowing from a friend. “I knew I was just going to take that money and gamble.”

So far, Foster has paid back about $55 to one friend in the current case.

“The intent in your mind was always to pay the money back,” Parrish said to Foster.

“It still is,” Foster said.

Gambling on borrowed money

In an April court-martial, Pvt. Andrew Foster pleaded guilty to wrongful appropriation involving loans of $8,200 from a friend.

His friend, a South Korean doctor who was planning a move to the United States, had given Foster a check for $8,000 with the promise that Foster’s family would buy the doctor a car, both Foster and the doctor testified.

Instead, Foster told the court, he went to the Sheraton Grande Walkerhill to cash the check and lost the money gambling within 12 hours.

He was demoted to the rank of private and sentenced to six months’ confinement.

— Teri Weaver

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