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Man Fakes Deployments To Bilk Employers

Last updated on Sunday, June 3, 2012

(FORT WAYNE) - A Fort Wayne man has been charged with defrauding several companies out of more than $360,000 by accepting pay after telling them he was being deployed, even though he wasn’t in the military.

Jerome Burney, 39, was charged Wednesday with five counts of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud. Burney is accused of providing employers with fake military orders between May 2004 and August 2008. The orders indicated the deployment would begin on a specific date near the date of his hire, according to court documents. The documents said the deployment was to last for up to a year, but included a provision that it could extend for another year.

The U.S. attorney's office says Burney sought jobs with companies that offered military pay differential policies, where the companies would pay people being deployed the difference between their military pay and their employer pay. The names of the companies and the number of companies involved weren't disclosed. Payments were issued from banks in Illinois, Florida and California to Burney's account with a bank in Fort Wayne.

Burney eventually would quit the various companies, according to court documents unsealed this week. He is accused of receiving $363,878 in pay to which he wasn't entitled.

Defense attorney Randall Hammond didn't immediately return a message from The Associated Press seeking comment Friday.

Burney was released without bond Thursday after appearing before Magistrate Judge Roger Cosbey for a detention hearing. He is scheduled to be arraigned Monday.

Burney faces up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines on each count. He also could be ordered to pay restitution.

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