Saturday, January 5, 2019

The Whelan case

You may have noticed that the ex-Marine with multiple nationalities who is currently being held on spying charges in Russia was convicted 10 years ago in a U.S. special court-martial. Here is the text of the decision of the U.S. Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals in United States v. Paul N. Whelan, No. 200800152, 2008 CCA LEXIS 688 (N-M. Ct. Crim. App. 2008) (per curiam):
A military judge sitting as a special court martial convicted the appellant, consistent with his pleas, of attempted larceny, three specifications of dereliction of duty, making a false official statement, wrongfully using another's social security number,[1] and ten specifications of making and uttering checks without having sufficient funds in his account for payment, in violation of Articles 80, 92, 107, and 134, Uniform Code of Military Justice, 10 U.S.C. §§ 880, 892, 907, and 934. He was sentenced to 60 days restriction, reduction to pay grade E-4, and, a bad-conduct discharge. The convening authority approved the sentence as adjudged.[2]

We have carefully considered the record of trial, the appellant's assignment of error alleging that the approved sentence is inappropriately severe, and the Government's response. We conclude that the findings and sentence are correct in law and fact and that no error materially prejudicial to the substantive rights of the appellant was committed. Arts. 59(a) and 66(c), UCMJ. We specifically find that the sentence is appropriate for the offender and his offenses. United States v. Baier, 60 M.J. 382 (C.A.A.F. 2005); United States v. Healy, 26 M.J. 394, 395-96 (C.M.A. 1988); United States v. Snelling, 14 M.J. 267, 268 (C.M.A. 1982).


Accordingly, we affirm the findings and the sentence as approved by the convening authority.
1 The appellant was charged under Article 134, UCMJ, for a violation of Title 42 U.S.C. § 408(a)(7)(B). 
2 The military judge recommended that the convening authority suspend the bad-conduct discharge.
The opinion is unpublished and nonprecedential. Staff Sergeant Whelan appears not to have sought discretionary review by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. 

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