Huntsville Army Officer Sentenced for False Statements and Theft Of Government Property
BIRMINGHAM – A judge today sentenced a U.S. Army officer to two years’ probation, to include six months of house arrest, and fined him $25,000 for making false statements to a department of the United States and for stealing government property, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Southeast Field Office, Special Agent in Charge John F. Khin.
U.S. District Judge Abdul K. Kallon sentenced LT. COL. JAMES O. McLINNAHAM, 45, on three counts of making false statements on official, confidential financial disclosure forms; one count of making false statements in a questionnaire for national security clearance; one count of theft of government property; and three counts of making false statements in work orders submitted to the Army print shop. A federal jury convicted McLinnaham in January. As part of McLinnaham’s sentence, Judge Kallon ordered him to pay $1,600 restitution to the government.
“We should be able to expect honesty and integrity from all government employees, including military personnel,” Vance said. “This case demonstrates our commitment to investigating and prosecuting those who do not live up to the trust that our citizens have placed in them. Government employees will be held accountable for theft and deceit,” she said.
“This field grade officer’s corrupt and unethical conduct was shameful,” Khin said. “DCIS and our partners will relentlessly pursue and bring to justice those who deliberately deprive America’s Warfighters of increasingly limited resources by stealing and abusing taxpayer funds,” he said.
McLinnaham was stationed at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville. Evidence at his trial showed the he had certified that his financial disclosure forms were true when he had failed to disclose his position with an outside business, and to having received wages and other payments from that business. The evidence also showed that McLinnaham had certified that his questionnaire for national security clearance was true, when he had failed to disclose his association with the same business, a prior marriage, and a prior misdemeanor arrest. The defendant was required to fill out all these forms as part of his official duties with the U.S. Army.
False statements on the work orders related to McLinnaham certifying that posters printed and mounted by the Army print shop were for official purposes when they were actually for his outside business. The theft of government property charge related to the same posters, and to the defendant obtaining a conference table from Redstone Arsenal for which his business received a $400 credit toward the purchase of another conference table from a local furniture store.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Defense Criminal Investigative Service, with assistance from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Russell E. Penfield and Terence M. O’Rourke prosecuted the case.
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