BAH Fraud

BAH fraud refers to any fraudulent activities related to the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH).

The Basic Allowance for Housing provides funds for active-duty service members to pay for housing expenses if the service members do not live on base. Allowance amounts for the BAH are determined by factors including the number of dependents, the service member’s marital status, and the housing location.

In recent years, the military has been aggressively pursuing investigations into BAH fraud, which can include creating false rental agreements, falsely claiming to live in high cost-of-living areas, and entering into sham marriages to increase housing allowance payments. Even failing to report a divorce could be classified as fraud. Random audits can identify fraudulent activities, or certain red-flags can trigger investigations.

An investigation can involve an extensive review of personal financial information, including a review of all signed statements submitted to Finance, as well as a review of bank records, mortgage records and lease agreements.

If an investigation reveals suspected BAH fraud, the government may initiate UCMJ action against a service member.

BAH fraud often results in allegations of multiple separate offenses including larceny, which involves receiving and keeping money that the service member is not entitled to, and the offense of making a false official statement for completing a BAH authorization with the intent to deceive. Article 132 defines the offense of fraud against the United States when false claims are made.

Penalties for BAH fraud can be serious, and could include confinement and dishonorable discharge, in addition to having to repay of the full amount. If you have been accused of committing fraud, if you are under investigation, or if you are being subjected to disciplinary proceedings, it is important to consult an experienced civilian military attorney who can provide you with assistance in responding aggressively in defense against these serious allegations.

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