Military: Sham Marriages Got Marines Housing Money

Military officials are charging three California-based Marine corporals with fraud and larceny for entering in a pair of sham marriages to collect housing funding, officials said.

The military alleges that a lesbian couple - one a Marine, the other a civilian - decided to live together off base and wanted to collect the $1,200 housing benefit granted to married Marines.

The female Marine found a male Marine willing to get married, allowing them to collect the housing benefit, and the civilian woman also eventually married a Marine and collected funds, 1st Lt. Maureen Dooley, a spokeswoman at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, said Saturday.

The female Marine, Cpl. Ashley Vice, told San Diego's KGTV-TV that she and her partner, Jaime Murphy, were forced to enter sham marriages because the military doesn't provide allowances for unmarried couples and they couldn't afford to live off base without the extra money. She and her partner only wanted to "be a family," Vice said.

"It doesn't matter what their sexual preferences are, if they're violating the law and making fraudulent use of government money, they will be held accountable," Dooley said.

The corporals, assigned to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing at Camp Pendleton, now face fraud and larceny charges, but more could come later, and the three could have to pay back $75,000 to the military.

The military does not have jurisdiction over the civilian woman, Dooley said, and it was not clear if she would face charges.

Even after the military officially drops its ban against openly gay or lesbian members, same-sex couples, even if married, would still not be eligible because of a federal law defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

Vice told the station she and the other corporals, Jeremiah Griffin and Joseph Garner, could face at least a year in the brig at Miramar, since none of them can afford to pay the government back.

In addition to jail time, Vice said she will likely be demoted in rank from corporal to private.

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  • by another obama sham Location: Havelock /Va on Jul 13, 2011 at 06:56 AM
    lets turn our military agaist each other with d.a.d.t. laws are laws and the people that are gay gays not a color race its a lifestlye get over it ,you can be gay and proud we dont hate you , but its your choice and live with in the laws .we do .the military is flooded with closet gays/lesbians so what a sham is a sham then are you a sham gay/lesbian . what i can see gay/lesbians want it both ways, have there cake and eat it to.oh yes thank you obama for another problem we did not have before you.
  • by army Location: nc on Jul 6, 2011 at 12:07 PM
    their are alot of contract marriages for the money to get off base. All teh corps have the problem, they just dont look for them. Its not a priority for their police or intell investigation groups. Is it wrong, yes. What can be done to prevent it?? Several did it to prevent investigations on homosexuality.
  • by Really?! Location: NC on Jul 4, 2011 at 06:24 AM
    I am a bit concerned over the comments about this being an example made because this couple is gay. That's crazy. The law is the law and it has to be followed by ALL. The military is NOT responsible for writing the laws. The Congress is. The military MUST follow the same rules as everyone else. So therefore, laws were broken and there are consequences to be had. Just because you think you commit a crime for a "good reason" doesn't make it any less of a crime.
    • reply
      by USMC (Ret) on Jul 4, 2011 at 07:12 AM in reply to Really?!
      I absolutely agree with you. However...when was the last time you saw a story of this type plastered all over the national news media when the couple was heterosexual. Did they break the rules? Absolutely. Do they deserve the punishment that they receive? Yes. Is this being made a big deal of because of their sexual preference? Yes. Without a doubt. No one said that they broke the law for a "good reason" or that it is any less of a crime.
  • by USMC (Ret) on Jul 4, 2011 at 02:55 AM
    These women are being made an example of because of their sexual preference, NOT because they took money from the government under a sham marriage. It happens quite often with heterosexual couples, yet it rarely comes to NJP, much less a National Headline. Did they do wrong? Yes. The press has made this a big deal, not for the larceny, but because it's a lesbian's a ploy by the DADT opponents for publicity, and it's working wonderfully. The world is changing, folks. Whether you approve or not.
    • reply
      by another obama sham on Jul 13, 2011 at 06:58 AM in reply to USMC (Ret)
      Law is law they should of never took the money. They should investigate any and all cases and recover the money back what about right here?
  • by Eric Location: Chocowinity on Jul 3, 2011 at 07:30 PM
    Wow. Seems to me, as I read this article, that if the two women had just been allowed to get married, this whole mess would have been avoided. While I do not endorse fraud or larceny, I think the government should just write it off as a lesson learned and allow people to marry who they love. Imagine if you were forced to marry someone of the gender you're not attracted to and put on a public display of affection and matrimony to get the benefits you need. These women were able to. Most of you would not. I sure wouldn't. Pretend to be married to a man? I couldn't do it. This is no different from interracial marriages and we allow that. Time to move into the 21st century, people.
  • by Devil Dog Location: Greenville on Jul 3, 2011 at 04:49 PM
    Concur with GySgt Martin. I could write a book about ripping off the government. I could offer alot of ideas but very few would satisfy the LIBS.
  • by 250 Location: Jax on Jul 3, 2011 at 04:35 PM
    The can of worms has been opened for some time. Won't be much longer and those little squirmies will be all over. OR Tis is not and will not be the last!
  • by Terrence W, Martin Gysgt. (Ret) Location: Hubert on Jul 3, 2011 at 03:29 PM
    This has been going on since marriages don't have to be aproved by the command. Marines have always been looking for a way out of the barracks. Doesn't anybody remember the female marine from 10th Mrines killed in Iraq years ago...she was married to a marine in another battalion but were not living together. Couldn't find him when the red cross message came...contract marraiges have been a DOD scam since..well the money looked better then alternative..barracks,duty on holidays, working party on weekends etc. etc. etc.
    • reply
      by another obama sham on Jul 13, 2011 at 07:04 AM in reply to Terrence W, Martin Gysgt. (Ret)
      At time of war our military needs to live on base there like whole towns on base now not like in the past.they are living off base because of a sham or partying.just like the one DUI in Newport. the morals are not what they were
  • by so what Location: ENC on Jul 3, 2011 at 02:23 PM
    "Contract Marriages" happen around every base, just check Craigslist for all the people advertising to bet married just for the benefits, this is just the tip of the iceberg for the fraud that happens.
  • by OHL Location: Anywhere on Jul 3, 2011 at 01:04 PM
    No worse that Obama living in the white house
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