View Full Version : Lt. who robbed ship fell for e-mail scam

07-06-07, 06:07 AM
Lt. who robbed ship fell for e-mail scam
By Gidget Fuentes - Staff writer
Posted : Friday Jul 6, 2007 6:30:14 EDT

SAN DIEGO - A Navy supply corps officer on the frigate McClusky who pleaded guilty to stealing money from his ship's safe will be confined in the brig and could be dismissed from the service.

Lt. Milton T. Guy, who was the ship's disbursing officer, received a 28-month sentence and a $14,000 fine after he pleaded guilty June 26 to wrongful appropriation, dereliction of duty and making a false statement, according to an article in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Guy pleaded guilty and was sentenced after a general court-martial, said Walter T. Ham IV, a Navy Region Southwest spokesman.

The Union-Tribune, citing court documents, said Guy took the money to use as payments to collect a $260,000 inheritance he believed was owed to him. The purported inheritance, however, was part of an Internet scam pitched by a man named Barnabus, who in e-mails and telephone calls to Guy contended that he represented the Nigerian government and claimed he was handling the disposal of a $2.6 million estate belonging to a Mark Guy.

According to documents, Guy stole small sums of money, in total around $120,000 to $140,000, out of the McClusky's funds from October 2004 to July 2005, and he sent most of the money to Barnabus although he used several thousand dollars to buy a laptop computer and to put a down payment on a car and a deposit on an apartment, according to the newspaper.

A May 2006 audit by the U.S. Pacific Fleet found that money was missing from the McClusky's accounts.

Cmdr. Jane Campbell, a spokeswoman for Naval Surface Forces in Coronado, Calif., said that the Navy uses routine audits to help keep ship's funds secure. "It is the checks and balances that we have throughout the fleet that precludes people from being able to get away with this," Campbell said.

With the new Navy Cash financial system, the Navy's ships are moving away from keeping large sums of cash aboard in favor of an electronic, cashless system.

"Navy Cash is a great new program that is being implemented across the fleet," she said. "It's the way now that we are keeping much less cash in the ships in general."

Internet scams such as the so-called "Nigerian letter" are well-known schemes that have exploded with the rise of spam e-mails. Such e-mails claim that the recipient is owed large sums of money that require a transferring of funds before the full amount can be collected, and other scams include seemingly dire requests for financial help.

"It is incumbent upon everybody to be too cautious," Campbell said. "If it's too good to be true, it probably is."