Former Air Force Officer Sentenced to More Than Five Years in Prison for Theft of Government Property and Bankruptcy Fraud
From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Alabama:
MOBILE, AL – A Maine man was sentenced to 63 months in prison for theft of government property and bankruptcy fraud.
According to court documents, Brandon LeRoss Bailey, 43, of Holden, Maine, stole $818,918.36 from the U.S. Air Force over a more than six-year period. Bailey, a former Major in the Air Force, was dismissed from the military in 2010 after being convicted of several drug and theft offenses at a general court martial. Due to an administrative error, however, Bailey was mistakenly kept on the Air Force’s payroll from October 2010 to March 2017.
Rather than notify the Air Force of the error, Bailey took advantage of the mistake and continued to receive unearned Air Force payroll checks and periodic healthcare at military treatment facilities. At various times, he accessed his former Air Force MyPay account, an online personnel page, to obtain annual W 2s and monthly payroll statements. Bailey periodically used these documents to falsely represent his income and employment status to different entities, including but not limited to the Social Security Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, for personal financial gain. Bailey also falsely portrayed himself publicly as an active-duty Air Force member and relied on Air Force documents to open bank accounts and obtain loans, credit cards, and other items of value that he was not lawfully entitled to receive.
In February 2019, Bailey filed for bankruptcy in the Southern District of Alabama. In connection with his bankruptcy case, Bailey knowingly and fraudulently concealed certain property from the bankruptcy administrator. The concealed property included tens of thousands of dollars in rental property income, consulting and teaching income from a private university in Alabama, and income from Disabled American Veterans. United States Attorney Sean P. Costello said, “This defendant’s selfish theft of taxpayer money is the antithesis of the honor and integrity shown by those who serve our country. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to hold accountable whose who take advantage of the armed forces and the taxpayers.”
Paul W. Brown, Special Agent in Charge of the Mobile Division of the FBI said, “Mr. Bailey’s criminal acts betrayed his oath of service to the Air Force and undermined our court system. The FBI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to aggressively investigate and hold accountable those who commit similar crimes.”
“Mr. Bailey deceptively gained entitlement to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, by manipulating and concealing material information. He not only defrauded SSA, but also improperly received other federal benefits intended for those who served our country with honor. His sentence reflects our commitment to protect Social Security benefits and to hold accountable those who misuse its programs,” said Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General for the Social Security Administration. “I thank the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations for their investigative efforts. I also thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office for prosecuting this case.”
Senior United States District Judge Callie V.S. Granade ordered Bailey to serve a three-year term of supervised release upon his release from prison, during which time he will undergo drug testing and treatment and will be subject to credit restrictions. The court did not impose a fine, but Judge Granade ordered Bailey to pay $1,454,623.28 in victim restitution and $200 in special assessments. The court also ordered that Bailey forfeit the property he obtained with the stolen funds, including a 4-bedroom house in Holden, Maine; 78 acres of real property in Butler, Alabama; and various investment and bank accounts.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General, and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations Detachment 405 investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sinan Kalayoglu and Justin Roller prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.