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SEOUL — A former Department of Defense employee pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court to stealing almost $10,000 in Army Emergency Relief funds while employed at Camp Humphreys in South Korea.

According to a U.S. Department of Justice news release, Tyrone L. Ellis, 56, of Columbus, Ga., pleaded guilty to conversion and faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced Aug. 25 in District Court for the Middle District of Georgia.

Army Emergency Relief is a private, nonprofit organization funded by contributions that provides emergency financial assistance for U.S. Army personnel.

According to the release, Ellis admitted that when he worked as an assistant Army Emergency Relief officer at Camp Humphreys in 2005 and 2006, he approved grants for a dozen soldiers that were greater than the amount they needed. He then asked for, and received, approximately $9,250 back from the grant recipients which he converted to his own use, the release said.

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