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Former Marine Sergeant Sentenced to Prison for Role in Scheme to Steal Military Equipment in Iraq

WASHINGTON – A former U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) gunnery sergeant was sentenced today to 18 months in prison for conspiring to steal at least 55 electrical generators from USMC bases in Iraq in 2008, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles for the District of South Carolina.

Eric Scott Hamilton, 40, of Carrollton, Ga., also was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge J. Michelle Childs in Greenville, S.C., to three years of supervised release following his prison term.  In addition, Hamilton was ordered to pay $124,944 in restitution to the U.S. Department of Defense. Hamilton pleaded guilty on Aug. 10, 2011, to a criminal information charging him with two counts of conspiracy to steal public property.

According to court documents and information presented at his plea hearing, Hamilton was stationed from May to September 2008 at Camp Fallujah, Iraq, where he was in charge of a military storage yard containing electrical generators and other equipment for use by USMC units in Iraq.  Hamilton admitted that while he was stationed at Camp Fallujah, he entered into a scheme with a USMC officer to facilitate the theft of electrical generators from the base by private Iraqi contractors.  Hamilton admitted that he identified the generators to be stolen, painted markings on them to designate them for theft by Iraqi contractors, and facilitated access to the storage yard by the contractors’ trucks to load and remove the generators.  Hamilton also entered into a separate scheme with a private Iraqi contractor to facilitate that contractor’s theft of electrical generators from the base.  Both of these theft schemes continued after the USMC closed Camp Fallujah in approximately October 2008 and relocated personnel there to Camp Ramadi, Iraq.  According to court documents, Hamilton was assigned at Camp Ramadi from October to December 2008.

In pleading guilty, Hamilton admitted that he received more than $124,000 in payments from the USMC officer and the Iraqi contractor in return for facilitating the theft of at least 55 generators from Camps Fallujah and Ramadi.  Hamilton received the funds through cash payments in Iraq, checks issued to Hamilton’s wife in the United States by the USMC officer’s wife and wire transfer payments to a bank account in the United States.  Hamilton sent home approximately $43,000 of the cash he received from the thefts at Camp Fallujah by concealing it among American flags contained in foot lockers that he mailed from Iraq to his wife.  The investigation in this case continues.

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