Marines Caught in Marriage Scam
BY Michelle Garcia
July 05 2011 2:10 PM ET
Three Marines are facing several charges after it was revealed that they
were involved in fraudulent marriages to collect financial assistance
usually offered by the military only to opposite-sex married
Marine corporal Ashley Vice told KGTV News that she wanted to live off base with her girlfriend, Jamie Murphy, who is a civilian, but Vice could not afford to live away from the base because of her low salary. However, because of "don't ask, don't tell," she could not openly request to live off base with her girlfriend. In 2009, Vice worked out a deal to marry fellow Marine Jeremiah Griffin so she could receive the $1,200 monthly stipend that is supposed to go toward off-base living expenses for straight married couples. A year and a half later, Murphy also married Marine Joseph Garner.
Vice was questioned February 1 about their actions, and two weeks ago, she, Garner, and Griffin received their charges.
The three Marines, based out of Camp Pendleton in San Diego, are accused of pocketing a cumulative $75,000. The Marines each face a year in a brig or military prison, a reduction in rank, forfeiture of all pay, and a dishonorable discharge if convicted by a military court.
"There's no conspiracy here," Murphy told KGTV. "There's no trying to steal from anybody. We just wanted to be together and she wanted to serve her country."