Marines charged in alleged marriage sham

July 2, 2011 at 12:44 PM

SAN DIEGO, July 2 (UPI) -- The U.S. Marine Corps has charged three corporals with defrauding the government through sham marriages to help pay for their California residences.

The three Marines are assigned to the Miramar Marine Corps Air Station in San Diego. The Los Angeles Times said their names were not released.

Officials said a lesbian couple, one a Marine and the other a civilian, wanted to live off base together but couldn't do so because of the cost. The female Marine reportedly found a male Marine willing to get married, enabling her to collect a housing allowance so she and her partner could live off base.

The civilian woman later allegedly found a male Marine willing to get married so she, too, could get a housing allowance.

The three now faces charges and could have to pay the Marine Corps back $75,000.

"The bottom line is that every Marine knows if they violate the law, they will be held accountable for their actions," said a spokeswoman for the 3rd Marine Air Wing. "Regardless of sexual preference, we will hold all Marines accountable and to the same standards."

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