Writing bad checks gets soldier in South Korea 30 days’ confinement, fine
July 17, 2008
CAMP RED CLOUD, South Korea — A 2nd Infantry Division soldier was sentenced to 30 days of confinement during a court-martial at the Camp Casey courtroom Tuesday for writing bad checks to other soldiers.
Pfc. Brennan J. Miller, of 1st Battalion, 15th Field Artillery, Battery A, also was reduced in rank to E-1 and fined $898 per month for two months after a jury found him guilty of writing checks without sufficient funds under Article 134.
Miller had been charged with a more serious offense under Article 123a, which could have meant up to five years in prison.
However, that charge requires an "intent to defraud" and the jury apparently picked the lesser charge because they believed Miller’s crime was inadvertent, prosecutor Capt. Mike Eaton said by phone after the two-day trial.
"Basically, what the jury was doing was sending a message that this is not going to be tolerated," Eaton said. "On the other hand, they recognized that he made complete restitution to all of the victims, and I think they gave him a second chance."
Miller wrote about 15 checks with insufficient funds out of his Bank of America account, totaling $2,000, over nearly a month.
He wrote multiple checks to fellow soldiers — all of whom were paid back and didn’t hold a grudge, Eaton said.
Miller’s parents had been depositing money in his account but didn’t during that time period, Eaton said. However, it’s still a soldier’s responsibility to make sure money is available before writing checks, he said.