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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 8, 2014

Former Camp Pendleton Marine Gunnery Sergeant Guilty Of Nearly $100,000 Fraud

United States Attorney Laura E. Duffy announced today that a former U. S. Marine Gunnery Sergeant admitted to submitting false lodging reimbursement requests to the Marine Corps from 2009 to 2011, totaling nearly $100,000. At the time, the defendant, Gunnery Sergeant Devin Pierre Alario was stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

As detailed in his plea agreement, under certain circumstances, reservists who are called to active duty become eligible for a housing reimbursement benefit during the term of their active duty, in addition to the basic allowance for housing that they receive. Alario exploited this housing reimbursement benefit by falsely claiming reimbursement for rent that he never paid. Specifically, on 27 occasions from June 2009 through October 2011, Alario submitted false rental receipts that inflated the amount he was paying for rent, included a fictitious landlord, or contained a false address. To substantiate his lodging claims and conceal the fraud, Alario also submitted fake leases that he prepared. Typically, Alario’s false claims sought rental reimbursement for up to $3,800 per month. All told, he made $95,013.10 from his fraud.

Alario pleaded guilty to one felony count of making false claims against the United States.

In his plea agreement, Alario agreed to pay restitution to the U.S. Marine Corps in the full amount of the losses.

United States Attorney Duffy stated, “We will aggressively prosecute anyone who siphons much-needed taxpayer funds from our nation’s armed forces, including those who exploit their positions within the military to do so.”

Acting Special Agent in Charge Kevin F. Boyne of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) Western Field Office commented, “DCIS is committed to working with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and other partner agencies to aggressively pursue those individuals who undermine the public trust and the efforts of the Department of Defense to support the warfighter and their families. Schemes motivated by greed betray the values of the Marine Corps and cannot be tolerated.”

The case has been assigned to U. S. District Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo. The next scheduled court appearance is July 25, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. for sentencing.

DEFENDANT   Case Number:
Devin Pierre Alario Age: 40 Temecula, CA
 
CHARGES

False claims, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 287 - Maximum penalties: 5 years in prison, $250,000 fine, term of supervised release of three years, restitution, and $100 special assessment.

 
INVESTIGATING AGENCY

Defense Criminal Investigative Service
Naval Criminal Investigative Service

*Indictments and complaints are not evidence that the defendant committed the crime charged.  All defendants are presumed innocent until the United States meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.     

Updated July 23, 2015