Rodney M. Kidd 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 Rodney M. Kidd, 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), one count of fraudulent claim against the United States (18 U.S.C. § 287), and one count 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 Kidd to appear in federal court on February 18, 2015, for his arraignment.
The indictment alleges that from October 1, 2012 through April 30, 2013, Kidd, an active duty Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force, knowingly stole about $19,645.15 in Overseas Housing Allowance funds from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), a Department of Defense agency that pays military service members.
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. If a military member is sharing his residence with another military member, then the amount of OHA distributed to that person would be cut in half.
According to the indictment, from October 1, 2012 through April 30, 2013, Kidd secretly shared his residence with another Air Force Staff Sergeant. According to forms he signed and briefs he heard, Kidd knew that he was only entitled to be reimbursed for $1,100 of his $2,200 monthly rent, yet he kept the additional amounts. Kidd received tax-free reimbursement for his fraudulent rental payments as well as tax-free reimbursements for utility expenses, which totaled approximately $19,645.15.
The indictment further alleges that on May 13, 2013, Kidd knowingly submitted false OHA documentation to DFAS that falsely claimed that Kidd 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 Kidd submitted, DFAS paid tax-free OHA reimbursement for the $2,200 he supposedly paid for his share of the rent every month. In reality, Kidd 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.
The indictment further alleges that from May 1, 2013 through May 31, 2014, Kidd received tax-free reimbursement for his fraudulent rental payments as well as tax-free reimbursements for utility expenses, which totaled approximately $35,136.60. To corroborate this OHA claim, Kidd presented a false lease agreement to DFAS that falsely stated that Kidd paid $2,200.00 every month in rent for his occupancy of this Dededo residence. The total amount of OHA payments Kidd fraudulently received was $54,781.75.
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.