Email to a friend

Colonel Spared Prison for Fraud, Bigamy

A U.S. Army colonel has been sentenced to a reprimand and $300,000 fine for defrauding the government to help his Iraqi lover’s family, officials said.

Col. James H. Johnson III, former commander of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, was convicted of fraud, bigamy, adultery and conduct unbecoming an officer, Stars and Stripes reported. He could be imprisoned if he fails to pay his fine but will be able to retire with his full pension.

Greg Rinckey, a former judge advocate general, found the sentence troubling. He said the military jury in Kaiserslautern, Germany, might have been swayed by the plight of Johnson’s first wife, who stands to benefit from her husband’s pension.

Johnson’s military career is finished so the reprimand is “meaningless,” Rinckey said.

“Once again, it appears there are two different standards for officers and enlisted in the Army,” he added. “If this had been an enlisted soldier, you have to believe there would have been a reduction in rank and jail time. And that perception of different rules does become a problem.”

During a 2005 deployment, Johnson had an affair with an Iraqi woman and later married her while still legally married to his first wife. The woman’s family racked up $80,000 in calls on a government-issued cellphone supplied by Johnson, who also arranged for her father to become a “cultural adviser” in Afghanistan without having qualifications for the post.

Johnson pleaded guilty to 13 counts and was convicted of two others.


Attorney Locator

Find an attorney near you.
Click below.

Contact Us

  • Certification matters for disabled vets

    For Anthony Kuhn, a Buffalo-based partner at Tully Rinckey PLLC, helping disabled veteran business owners is a way to give back. After all, he can relate. “I’m a disabled combat veteran,” Kuhn said, adding that he’s been in the Army for …

Read All

  • Free Download: EEOC 2016 Update White Paper

    You Could Be Sharing Confidential Info and Not Even Know It Tully Rinckey’s white paper details the Equal Employment Opportunity’s (“EEOC”) nationwide change to procedure that has gone largely unnoticed. The new procedure applies to Charges filed on or after …

Read All

Read All

Read All