Gillian A. Gallardo Charged With Military Housing Allowance Fraud
ALICIA A.G. LIMTIACO, United States Attorney for the Districts of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, announced that Gillian A. Gallardo, age 29, stationed on board Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on February 4, 2015, with two counts of theft of government money (18 U.S.C. § 641), two counts of fraudulent claim against the United States (18 U.S.C. § 287), and two counts of false statement to a federal government agency (18 U.S.C. § 1001). For each count of theft of government money, the maximum sentence under the statute is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. For each count of fraudulent claim against the United States and each count of false statement to a federal government agency, the maximum sentence under the statute is 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. A summons was issued for Gallardo to appear in federal court on February 18, 2015, for her arraignment.
The indictment alleges that on November 27, 2012, Gallardo, an active duty Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force, knowingly submitted false Overseas Housing Allowance documentation to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) that falsely claimed that Gallardo paid $2,450 in rent every month for her supposed occupancy of a certain residence in Yigo. In reality, Gallardo lived rent-free at an entirely different address in Dededo and pocketed the OHA funds.
Military members who are active duty or activated reservists or activated National Guardsmen are eligible to receive a tax-free housing allowance known as Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA). The amount of OHA compensation that an active duty military member can receive is determined by the actual amount of money the individual is paying for housing costs, up to a maximum amount determined by the individual’s rank and whether or not the individual has dependents. In Gallardo’s case, the maximum rental amount for which she could be compensated was $2,450.
The indictment further alleges that from October 1, 2012 through April 30, 2013, Gallardo received tax-free reimbursement for her fraudulent rental payments as well as tax-free reimbursements for utility expenses, which totaled approximately $21,501.90. To corroborate her OHA claim, Gallardo presented a false lease agreement to DFAS that falsely stated that Gallardo paid $2,450.00 every month in rent for her occupancy of this Yigo residence.
The indictment further alleges that on May 13, 2013, Gallardo again knowingly submitted false OHA documentation to DFAS that falsely claimed that Gallardo and another active duty Air Force Staff Sergeant paid a total of $4,400 in rent every month for their occupancy of their residence in Dededo. Relying on the OHA documentation Gallardo submitted, DFAS paid tax-free OHA reimbursement for the $2,200 she supposedly paid for her share of the rent every month. In reality, Gallardo and the other Staff Sergeant had a secret arrangement with their landlord to pay a significantly reduced amount of rent each month so that they could each pocket the remaining OHA payments.
From May 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014, Gallardo received tax-free reimbursement for her fraudulent rental payments as well as tax-free reimbursements for utility expenses, which totaled approximately $29,231.20. To corroborate this OHA claim, Gallardo again presented a false lease agreement to DFAS that falsely stated that Gallardo paid $2,200.00 every month in rent for her occupancy of this Dededo residence. The total amount of OHA payments Gallardo fraudulently received was $50,733.10.
This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. The prosecution is being handled by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Kurt Grunawalt.
The charges in the Indictment are only allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.