Air Force E-6 Cleared of Sexual Assault

Out of the blue, our high-performing and well-respected TSgt client was brought into OSI and informed that he had been accused of rape by another Airman. This alleged rape occurred more than 14 years earlier when our client was an A1C stationed overseas. Despite the questionable nature of the accusation, the Air Force elected to prosecute the case to the fullest extent possible. Due to the length of time between the alleged assault and the reporting, the statute of limitations barred the government from pursuing a court-martial. Instead, the Air Force initiated administrative separation proceedings against our client, seeking a UOTHC service characterization. We filed a “motion” that even administrative separation processing was barred under the existing separations AFI since our client had re-enlisted numerous times since the alleged sexual assault.  As a result, the government was forced to drop the separation processing. Coincidentally, a new separations DAFI was issued in June 2022 that permitted separation processing for events that occurred in previous enlistments. As such, the Air Force re-initiated administrative separation proceedings against our client and took him to a discharge board, where the burden of proof for the government is significantly lower than at a court-martial. At the board, the alleged victim testified that our client had sexually assaulted her 14 years earlier at a party in Germany. During our cross-examination, the defense highlighted the victim’s motives to fabricate back then (she was in relationship), her motives to fabricate now (she was applying for VA disability pay as a “victim”), and the significant inconsistencies in her story. RESULT: The board voted unanimously that our client had committed NO MISCONDUCT and RETAINED him in the Air Force.

Category: Military Success Stories

E-7 Retained Despite ADAPT Failure

An Air Force E-7 self-referred to ADAPT for alcohol abuse and entered treatment. Over the course of almost a year, our client attended multiple detox clinics, in-patient rehabilitation centers, and out-patient treatment programs.  Despite these ADAPT efforts, our client relapsed repeatedly (7x) during his treatment plan and was deemed an “ADAPT treatment failure.” Our client’s chain of command initiated administrative separations proceedings against him.  At his subsequent administrative separation board, we presented compelling evidence of his continued efforts to maintain sobriety, significant underlying mental health issues that led to his use of alcohol, and his overall exceptional military career. Result: The administrative separation board voted to RETAIN our client in the Air Force.

Category: Military Success Stories

Poppyseeds Cause Rare Codeine Test Result

A Navy Chief Petty Officer tested positive on random urinalysis test for codeine.  He was taken to Captain’s Mast and found guilty.  Subsequently, he retained the services of JAG Defense to represent him at his discharge board.  During our investigation into the circumstances surrounding the test, JAG Defense discovered that our client consumed multiple poppyseed muffins prior to the urinalysis test.  Traditionally, poppyseeds will cause someone to test positive for morphine, but not codeine. Working with an expert in forensic toxicology, JAG Defense discovered evidence that a new strain of poppyseed has been shown to make users test positive for codeine instead of morphine.  At our client’s subsequent discharge board, the government expert from the DoD drug testing laboratory admitted on cross-examination that the laboratory had seen a recent uptick in codeine tests, and that this increase was likely due to this new strain of “codeine-heavy” poppyseeds being introduced into the U.S. market. The board voted unanimously that NO MISCONDUCT occurred and RETAINED our client.  Following the board, JAG Defense petitioned the Commanding Officer to set aside our client’s Captain’s Mast in light of the evidence presented at the board.  The Commanding Officer agreed, set aside the previously imposed Captain’s Mast, and restored all rights and privileges that had been negatively affected by the entire process.  

Category: Military Success Stories, Positive Urinalysis Success Stories

Fraud Charges Dropped Against AF Officer

Air Force O-5 stationed at Ramstein AB, Germany came under investigation by the Munich Customs Investigations Office for Value Added Tax fraud.  The allegations spanned a period of over four years and a total alleged fraud of approximately $25,000.  Based on the German investigation, the officer was also facing charges with the Air Force.  We worked quickly with the client to put together a comprehensive, well-supported package demonstrating that no fraud had occurred.  Following our submission, the Air Force dropped all charges against our client.  Our client was subsequently able to use the package to fight the recoupment efforts made against him by the German government.

Category: Military Success Stories

Marine Avoids Sex Offender Registration

Our client was a LCpl in the Marine Corps who was identified by the Department of Homeland Security as having engaged in attempted child sexual abuse by communicating with minors on the social media app Whisper. In addition, NCIS conducted an undercover operation on Whisper, which also identified our client as engaging in similar behavior with minors on Whisper, to include sending them photos of his genitalia. Prior to retaining JAG Defense, when questioned by NCIS about the allegations, our client fully admitted to his misconduct and consented to the search and seizure of his cell phone, which yielded additional evidence against him. The Marine Corps ultimately charged our client with numerous violations of the UCMJ. If convicted of these charges, our client was facing 90 years of confinement, a dishonorable discharge, and lifetime sex offender registration. After extensive pretrial negotiations, we were able to secure a pretrial agreement where our client pleaded guilty only to indecent language. All sex offense charges were withdrawn and dismissed, and our client both avoided a sex offender registration and was not punitively discharged from the Marine Corps.

Category: Military Success Stories

Full Acquittal for Coast Guard CPO

Coast Guard E-7 was accused of groping a female officer during repeated port calls in Dutch Harbor, AK. Initially, the alleged victim claimed that our client fondled her buttocks on 2 occasions. Over the course of the investigation, this allegation grew to include approximately 12-20 gropings, each one lasting anywhere from 10-60 seconds. Prior to his court-martial, the government tacked on a Drunkenness charge under Article 134. At his court-martial, we attacked the alleged victim’s credibility and changing story. Further, we called numerous witnesses during the defense case who were present during the alleged instances of groping and drunkenness, all of whom testified that our client had not behaved inappropriately at any time. RESULT: The officer/enlisted panel found our client NOT GUILTY of all charges.

Category: Military Success Stories

Air Force Officer Cleared of BAH Fraud

Air Force O-4 was accused of stealing Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) and travel voucher entitlements totaling approximately $40,000. He was also charged with making five (5) false official statements as part of his alleged scheme. The allegations were based on his dependents’ BAH locations during an unaccompanied tour he took to Al Udeid AB, Qatar. Our client received BAH for NY for the entire year, despite the fact that his dependents primarily resided in OH and PA. At his court-martial, our cross-examination of the government’s finance witnesses using little-known provisions of the Joint Federal Travel Regulation established significant doubt/confusion regarding whether our client was entitled to NY BAH or not. Further, we presented significant evidence to demonstrate that our client lacked the specific intent to commit the offenses charged against him. RESULT: The officer panel found our client NOT GUILTY of all charges against him.

Category: Military Success Stories

Air Force SNCO Found Not Guilty of $306,000 BAH Fraud

Air Force E-8 stationed in Hawaii set up dual BAH entitlement for New York. Four years later, the government discovered that her spouse was actually living and working in Hawaii, and had actually joined the Hawaii Air National Guard. DFAS identified her case as “tainted claim,” and began garnishing her wages for $306,000 recoupment. Her case was referred to a General Court-Martial for larceny, where she faced up to 10 years in jail, a Dishonorable Discharge, and the loss of her military retirement. At trial before officer members, JAG Defense highlighted the government’s inability to prove that our client understood the requirements for dual BAH under the Joint Travel Regulation, and presented an affirmative defense of Mistake of Fact. Result: The member panel found our client NOT GUILTY of larceny.

Category: Military Success Stories

Navy O-10 Cleared During Congressional Investigation

Senior Officer (O-10) was identified as a person of interest in a Congressional investigation into the death of a service member from alleged friendly fire. After being called to testify behind closed doors with staff members of House committee, the officer was cleared of any wrong doing.

Category: Military Success Stories

Navy Executive Officer Retained and Promoted

Senior Officer (O-4) Executive Officer was relieved by his Commanding Officer for substandard performance after the Executive Officer raised concerns about the CO’s ability to command. After a lengthy investigative and complaint process, the Executive Officer was promoted to O-5 and went on to complete 20 years of exemplary service.

Category: Military Success Stories