A former marine was sentenced Tuesday to three months in custody and six months of community confinement for defrauding the U.S. Marine Corps of more than $205,000.
During his active duty at Camp Pendleton, former Major and Lt. Col. Michael K. Strom, 48, claimed to be renting the home of a fellow officer but actually owned his own house in Laguna Nigel. Meanwhile, former reservist Major Jason H. Wild, 45, pretended that he was renting Strom's home while actually staying at his own house in Oceanside.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Strom and Wild submitted fake lease agreements and rental receipts to the Marine Corps.
Strom claimed he was paying more than $98,000 in rent but an investigation found that he paid no portion of the claimed amount since he actually lived in his own house for the two-year period.
“Members of the armed forces who defraud the military out of its funds don’t just steal from taxpayers; they rob their comrades in arms of the resources they need to defend each other and our country,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Alana W. Robinson.
Strom was also ordered to pay forfeiture and restitution for his involvement in the conspiracy.
Wild was convicted in Nov. 2016 and sentenced to nine months in custody and six months community confinement in a halfway home.