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Thursday, May 17, 2012
Former U.S. Army Captain Pleads Guilty to Theft of Government Property at Camp Speicher, Iraq

WASHINGTON - A former captain in the U.S. Army pleaded guilty today to one count of theft of government property for stealing $48,000 from a safe at Camp Speicher, Iraq, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

Nicole E. Luvera, 29, of Newnan, Ga., pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg in Atlanta to a criminal information charging her with one count of theft of government property. 

According to the court documents filed in this case, from July 2007 to September 2008, Luvera was the deputy disbursing officer on Camp Speicher in Iraq.  Luvera was responsible for daily financial management and accounting of all money kept at Camp Speicher for the payment of obligations of the United States.  In this capacity, Luvera had access to the vault and safes inside the vault in which all the money at Camp Speicher was kept.  According to statements made at the plea hearing, Luvera admitted she knowingly and unlawfully stole and converted to her use and the use of others $8,000 not reflected in the official accounting record.  Luvera also admitted that on a subsequent occasion, she devised an illegal mechanism to steal and convert another approximately $40,000 from the safe at Camp Speicher by fraudulently creating records to explain the absence of the money.

Luvera faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.  In addition, Luvera has agreed to pay $48,000 in restitution to the U.S. Department of Defense.  Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 10, 2012.

The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Mark W. Pletcher of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Trial Attorney Richard B. Evans of the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section.  The case is being investigated by the Army Criminal Investigation Division, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction and other members of the International Contract Corruption Task Force. 

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