Posted on Feb 16, 2016
COL Mikel J. Burroughs
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RP Members this is one of those questions that got lost back in 2016 that is still a great question.

What would you do about this situation? Would you turn them in or comfront them first?

Would you have rights if you were a "whistleblower" against your immeidate supervisor or leader?

How many have been faced with this situation and can you share your story with the rest of the RP Group (no names please)?
Edited >1 y ago
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1SG Claims Assistant
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Edited 9 mo ago
This has happened to me, quite a number of times actually.
I'll share one story.
So while in Iraq in 2008, I picked up the Sons of Iraq contract for the Cavalry Squadron I was supporting in the 2d SCR. I was tasked to go over to one of the sister squadrons to learn from the "guru" a Captain in their S9 shop. It didn't take long to find irregularities as he was showing me how he was doing the contracting, but the big one was on the exchange rate - a very clever way to hide the skimming and kickbacks he was doing.
At that time, the Iraqi Dinar to Dollar exchange rate fluctuated a LOT, and by fixing it at a rate used in an earlier contract, he was able to purloin thousands of dollars as the ID appreciated. He'd draw Dinar at the daily rate from Finance, which he'd subsequently clear, but pay on the contract the fixed amount. He'd then pocket the difference, mailing it home.
I reported what I saw, but the Squadron leadership wasn't really interested in what a Reserve E-8 supporting another unit had to say. Finance didn't seem bothered by it either, even going so far as auditing ME when my contracts reflected correct rates and I had money left over to turn in.

I found out later that he had "friends" in Finance and the APO to assist him.
He got busted when the dumbass bought a BMW M5 with cash and a bunch of electronics. No AC O-3 could afford that, so the dealership reported him and the FBI rolled him.

I got a couple of emails after he was caught from his unit asking how I had figured out there was a problem. I explained what I could, and they found more parties to the scam by digging into the contracts.
The unhappy ending for the Captain was getting thrown out of the Army and a seven year stint in a federal prison.
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SGM Robert E. Gray
SGM Robert E. Gray
3 mo
Well after 30+ years, I saw legal and illegal irregularities or wrongness committed by Servicemembers, Government and Contractor personnel. You are committed and obligated to report it and I do. Doesn't mean something is going to happen. In the end, they always get caught during simple, stupid stuff!
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SP5 James Elmore
SP5 James Elmore
1 mo
Mistake of reporting it as you did. While it might seem the loyal thing to do, you never know who is involved or the intertwining of illegal activities of several people. One can report directly to CID or even the DOD IG hotline. While one can be anonymous, to be effective it's better to be able to interact on questions or find a way to remain unknown and provide information. Also, if you work through a lawyer on FIRST qui tam, you might have a substantial reward coming although that isn't necessarily your intention. You might have stumbled onto a scam perpetrated by individuals or a group worldwide that continues to use that scam to this day. Sounds like a great proposal for a DoD wide audit using the resources of all the military audit agencies. Hope you send that suggestion in to DOD IG using that case as the basis for worldwide, multi military service/DoD agency audit. I suspect that no one bothered to put in controls to detect or prevent such a scam. My take FWIW.
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PO1 Todd B.
PO1 Todd B.
1 mo
SP5 James Elmore - Good suggestions and I concur.. It all depends on the severity of the crime thus I said go to the chain of command first.
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SFC James Welch
SFC James Welch
20 d
When I was in Vietnam we had the “ Khaki Mafia headed by the Sargent Major of the Army at that time W.O. Woolridge. There are a couple of books out about it! War always brings out the system manipulators!
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Col Joseph Lenertz
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I had a boss who said, "don't worry about it" after being repeatedly asked about getting "leave in conjunction with TDY" put on his orders. My unit used a different pot of money, so I signed all TDY vouchers, including my boss'. He "borrowed" one of my crews' vehicles to visit family, hurting my mission timing...that was the piece I could not forgive. When I saw his voucher claiming per diem and rental car expenses for personal leave days (with no leave approved, BTW), I went two steps up and one step sideways on the chain, to someone I trusted. After sworn oaths to JAGs, an investigation, and paperwork, he was fired, given a LOR, and my next two OPRs were protected under whistleblower rules. The system worked as advertised. So if you see fraud, or abuse of authority, do not accept it. Go up the chain to someone you trust.
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CPT Carey Mitchell
CPT Carey Mitchell
3 mo
1968, Germany, TASCOM HQ. My wife was a secretary for the COL who ran a tech support group of civilian 'experts' representing the major logistical commands in CONUS. These guys were worthless. They would supposedly visit units to advise on tech issues. Mostly, they dropped in for a few minutes and then went sightseeing. The problem was that they actually bragged about these activities, lots of POV miles, per diem, TDY, etc.
Another girl who had been there for a while kept a file, documenting everything. She would call a unit, ask for the fellow, who usually was not and had not been there. She called the names shown in their trip reports and documented that they had not seen the fellows. After about 6 months, when her husband was headed for Nam, she wrote a cover letter and sent the entire package to her Congressman. Kabooom!

As this was going on, one of the tech reps lived in our apartment building. I watched him work on his Jag, using a US Army automotive tool set and some other stuff. I worked in another office, and one of my LTs kept track of the originator codes (today we would call them user names), classifided Secret. I looked his up and ran some computer searches (no small task back then), aided by a CPT friend who was willing to do so using an unassigned originator code so nothing could be traced back to us, as the civilians were a clannish and vindictive group. Found the docs where he had issued the tools for "inspection and testing". Dropped the whole thing in the mail to the IG. He got shiped back to the states - no way you could fire one of these AHs.

At least we provided a little justice where needed.
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SFC Combat Engineer
SFC (Join to see)
3 mo
Good for you sir, it didn't work out so good for me.
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SSG Ken Potts
SSG Ken Potts
1 mo
I call bullshit. He would not have dispatched a tactical vehicle. And a government vehicle has Nothing to do with a training mission.
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SP5 James Elmore
SP5 James Elmore
1 mo
Great job Colonel but I would not have reported as you did because you never know who are buddies. I would suggest direct reporting to CID or Army IG. Still, I admire your courage, ethics, and character and indeed your actions.
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CAPT Kevin B.
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I got the retaliation slap when I challenged my boss for using government material, machines, etc. to fabricate parts for his foreign car. So when I brought it up to the XO, that pretty much put the nail in my AD career. Somehow my performance declined. In retrospect, I was about 20 years early in calling this stuff out as the culture looked the other way. Another time in my life where doing the right thing early is frowned on.
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SP5 James Elmore
SP5 James Elmore
1 mo
That's why I always recommend going to an IG or CID. Still, you maintained your self respect and you have that, I suspect, from all of us.
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SFC James Welch
SFC James Welch
20 d
Sorta like what Congress does
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SFC James Welch
SFC James Welch
20 d
No good deed goes unpunished !CAPT Kevin B.
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SFC James Welch
SFC James Welch
20 d
In the end you have your own standard to live up to. When you reach old age and you are looking back, as I am, you will be content that you did your best to live up to your beliefs. There’s comfort in that.SSG Jess Peters
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