A Columbus, Georgia, man who once worked for Army Emergency Relief faces accusations that he skimmed money off the top of funds granted to needy soldiers and their families.
A federal grand jury indicted Tyrone L. Ellis, 56, last week on 12 charges, including conspiracy, false statement, and conversion by an employee or officer of the United States. According to court records, Ellis and an unnamed co-conspirator solicited thousands of dollars from AER applicants once Ellis had approved grant checks in amounts greater than the person needed.
Ellis appeared before U.S. Magistrate Stephen Hyles on Thursday. Hyles granted Ellis $10,000 unsecured bonds on his charges, court records state.
As an assistant AER officer from October 2005 to August 2006 at Camp Humphreys in South Korea, Ellis approved applications for grants and loans up to $2,500. The indictment alleges that Ellis would have people apply for grants instead of loans, have them lie on their application forms and then issue checks for more than was needed. Some of that cash would then be handed over to Ellis.
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