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Press Release

Huntsville Army Officer Convicted Of False Statements And Theft Of Government Property

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Alabama

HUNTSVILLE – A federal jury today convicted a U.S. Army officer for making false statements to a department of the United States and for stealing government property, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and John F. Khin, special agent in charge, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, U.S. Department of Defense.

The jury convicted Lt. Col. James O. McLinnaham, 45, who is stationed at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, after a three-day trial before U.S. District Judge Abdul K. Kallon. The jury found McLinnaham guilty of three counts of making false statements on official, confidential disclosure forms; one count of making false statements in a questionnaire for national security clearance; and three counts of making false statements in work orders submitted to the Army print shop.

Evidence at trial showed the defendant had certified that the 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 showed that the defendant 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 citizens are entitled to expect honesty and integrity from all government employees, including military personnel,” Vance said. “This case is important because it demonstrates our commitment to investigating and prosecuting those who do not live up to the trust that our citizens have placed in them,” she said.

The defendant faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the false statement charges.  He also faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the theft charge.

McLinnaham is tentatively scheduled for sentencing in April.

The case was investigated by the 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.

Updated March 19, 2015