A former Army captain and supply officer for 3rd Special Forces Group along with his wife have pleaded guilty to stealing government money through their private business dealing with the service.
Former Army Capt. John Raymond Meier, 33, faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine at his Dec. 6 sentencing date in federal court in North Carolina.
His wife also faces five years in prison and a $500,000 fine for her role in the embezzlement scheme, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office release.
Meier and his wife, Nicole Anderson Meier, 34, of Cameron, North Carolina, pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges related to theft of government funds and a military member affecting an employee’s financial interest, according to court documents.
“John Meier abused his position of public trust for personal gain, diverted proceeds meant to support the warfighter, and undermined the very principles he swore to defend as a U.S. Army officer,” said Christopher Dillard, special agent in charge of the Mid-Atlantic Field Office for the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General.
Meier enlisted in the Army in 2008, married Nicole in 2013 and was commissioned in 2014. From June 2017 to August 2019, he served as the supply officer for 3rd SF Group, according to court documents.
One of his duties was to review and approve purchase requests from Army units and authorize the use of the government purchase card.
In February 2018 Nicole formed the company White Board Solutions, LLC, listing her parents’ Belfair, Washington, address as its headquarters.
The North Carolina resident then obtained at least six commercial truck driver training contracts with Army units at Fort Bragg where her husband served.
The contracts worked with soldiers who already had their licenses but provided additional training such as tire blowout and recovery, rollout, route planning and onboard safety inspections, according to court documents.
The contract charged $5,000 per soldier and the company received a total of $150,000 during the work with the Army, according to court documents.
Each time a soldier was signed up for the training, Meier signed off on their use of the government purchase card to pay for the training his wife’s company was providing.
The company also sold items to the Army such as ratchet straps, magazines, fire adapters, targets and ink cartridges.
In email exchanges between the couple entered into evidence, Meier forwarded a request he’d received as a supply officer for M4 magazines to his wife and included instructions for her on how to find the items and how much to charge the Army.
On at least one other occasion, Meier gave his wife quotes from other vendors so that she could be sure to submit a lower quote to get the Army’s business.
It wasn’t disclosed to the government that he was approving the training.
Federal prosecutors filed charges against the couple in June.
Todd South has written about crime, courts, government and the military for multiple publications since 2004 and was named a 2014 Pulitzer finalist for a co-written project on witness intimidation. Todd is a Marine veteran of the Iraq War.
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