by Sharon Rondeau

(Feb. 3, 2017) — On Wednesday, the power of attorney for a recently-discharged disabled U.S. Army soldier reported that an investigation conducted by the Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU) into tens of thousands of dollars stolen from the soldier’s account between late November and early January is now “resolved.”

The POA was promised a letter confirming that the investigation is complete and all stolen funds returned to the soldier’s account.

According to the POA, NFCU made only a vague reference to the stolen funds until after she went in person to a branch office in late December asking for a printout of the soldier’s account activity. The day prior, the POA and the soldier were told over the phone that no information could be divulged due to a security issue.

When the electronic theft, carried out in multiple transactions, began, the soldier was hospitalized by order of his command at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC), much to the chagrin of his family.

The POA told The Post & Email that she never had reason to access the soldier’s account to withdraw or transfer funds during his hospitalization. Interestingly, while the command was detailing an ad hoc discharge plan in mid-December in a telephone conference with the POA, the soldier and another family member, a Walter Reed social worker was introduced who asserted that a study of the soldier’s case led the command to search for a “fiduciary” to manage his finances going forward irrespective of the POA already in place.

Over the course of more than four years, the soldier has been labeled “delusional,” “bipolar,” and “schizophrenic” by members of Walter Reed’s neuropsychiatric team led by Dr. David Williamson, who is reportedly no longer there.  However, a doctor of psychology who has examined the soldier disagrees with the multiple diagnoses.

Despite the diagnoses, the soldier reportedly signed discharge papers in early January without a JAG attorney, family member, or POA present.

Medical records show that the soldier suffered a traumatic brain injury on April 29, 2013, when he claims he was not only sexually and physically assaulted, but also rendered a victim of identity theft and attempted murder when he was thrown into moving traffic, striking his head on the windshield of a car.

The events took place after the soldier reported extreme misconduct on the part of his chain of command while he was stationed in South Korea in 2012, after which he was returned to the United States and specifically, Fort Lee, VA. It was there that the soldier was told he was “delusional” and his name entered into the “Medical Board” process on a path to discharge.

The process was started and stopped several times, according to the family.  Between 2013 and May 2016, the soldier was dispatched to several memory-treatment centers, where he lived and functioned virtually independently despite the medical diagnoses.

More than a dozen written complaints filed by the POA have not been pursued by the various agencies tasked with investigating them. On Wednesday evening, the POA informed The Post & Email that Walter Reed Inspector General Richard Little has not responded to her emails on the status of his investigation into her complaints in at least three weeks.

While at the NFCU branch office, the POA obtained a printout of activity and was able to identify fraudulent transactions by their invalid transaction numbers.  The POA said that the branch manager was unable to explain the unauthorized payments made to at least two external financial institutions, some of which were in the five figures.

The POA said that local police have identified a specific member of the soldier’s former transition team as a possible suspect in the heist of the tens of thousands of dollars taken from his account which has been restored.

Still unaddressed are two signature loans obtained fraudulently after the soldier was hospitalized from his traumatic brain injury sustained in 2013. For reasons as yet unexplained, Navy Federal claimed it investigated the POA’s affidavit of fraud but never identified the perpetrator nor made restitution for the stolen funds.  Rather, during the soldier’s recuperation, he was forced to make repayment on the fraudulent loans.


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