Captain pleads guilty in equipment theft

May 18, 2009 at 6:34 PM

WASHINGTON, May 18 (UPI) -- A U.S. Army captain pleaded guilty to participating in a scheme to steal military equipment and sell it to an Iraqi businessman, the Justice Department said.

B. Elbert Westley George III, 36, pleaded guilty Monday to a one-count indictment charging him with conspiracy to defraud the Defense Department and to commit theft of government property at a military base in Balad, Iraq, the Justice Department said.

In a related case, Army Sgt. 1st Class Roy Greene Jr., also in Iraq, pleaded guilty May 13 to participating with George in the same scheme.

In their pleas, Greene and George admitted that between December 2007 and June 2008, they abused their authority by stealing equipment and selling it to a local Iraqi businessman. George and Greene admitted to stealing one bus, eight trucks, 19 generators, five trailers and several other items. They also admitted to making at least $400,000 from their sales.

George and Greene both face a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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