Army Captain Pleads Guilty to Gratuities Charge
RALEIGH, NC—United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that in federal court today, DAVID ANTHONY KLINE, 32, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, pled guilty before United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle to solicitation and receipt of a gratuity and aiding and abetting the same, all in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 201(c)(1)(B) and 2.
According to the Criminal Information filed on September 9, 2015, and information presented in open court,DAVID ANTHONY KLINE, while serving as a First Lieutenant in the United States Department of the Army and stationed at Kandahar Air Field, in Afghanistan, did seek and accept $50,000 in gratuities from a contractor doing business with the United States military. Specifically, from January 2008 to April 2009, then-Lieutenant KLINE was deployed to Kandahar Air Field (KAF), Afghanistan as a member of the 189th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion (189th CSSB), and he served as the Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the Movement Control Team. The 189th CSSB is based at Fort Bragg and KLINE deployed to Afghanistan from Fort Bragg. KLINE has since been promoted to the rank of Captain.
As the OIC, KLINE oversaw the handling of Transportation Movement Requests, or TMRs, which are the means by which a military unit in the field submits a request for the transport of military items, to include fuel and equipment, food and other supplies, from one location to another across Afghanistan.
Although contracting procedures technically did not permit the authorizing officer to specify the particular Afghan trucking company that would perform the transportation, in practice, Kline and others were able to designate the Afghan company of their choice. KLINE admitted that he sought and accepted $50,000 in U.S. currency from an Afghan national who owned a trucking company doing business on government contracts at KAF, in return for KLINE’S facilitation of the award and payment of numerous transportation contracts.
Inspector General John Sopko of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) stated: “Stealing from the U.S. government undermines our mission in Afghanistan,
plain and simple. Not only did Captain Kline seek to defraud American taxpayers and abuse his position of authority as an officer, but he also put his fellow soldiers in harm’s way by stealing vital resources that are needed for legitimate operations.”
“As a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, David Kline had an obligation not only to conduct business in the best interest of his country, but also for those service men and women he was responsible for in Afghanistan. Anyone willing to misuse government resources for their own profit will be held accountable,” said John Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in North Carolina.
“The Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) aggressively pursues those who tarnish the reputation of the U.S. Department of Defense abroad as our Warfighters serve honorably to accomplish our global missions,” said DCIS Special Agent in Charge John F. Khin. “Corruption and theft in a combat environment degrade the effectiveness of the U.S. Armed Forces.”
The case was investigated by the Defense Criminal Investigation Service (DCIS), Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) Major Procurement Fraud Unit, the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Banumathi Rangarajan of the Eastern District of North Carolina and Trial Attorney Wade Weems of the U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.