GREAT FALLS, Mont. — A Malmstrom Air Force Base airman has pleaded guilty in a military court martial to bilking friends out of more than $53,000 and participating in a scam to overcharge the federal government in purchases from a sporting goods store.
Sgt. Jonathan Harpole used the money to pay off gambling debts at local casinos, according to a news release issued by Malmstrom.
Base officials say Harpole pleaded guilty to 19 charges related to larceny and obtaining loans under false pretenses. He was sentenced to 18 months in confinement, given a bad-conduct discharge and his rank was reduced to airman basic.
The Malmstrom release says Harpole got loans from 11 military members by lying about illnesses and financial hardships in his family. He also shared in the money obtained when employees of a sporting goods store overcharged the government for purchases.