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Sometimes it's hard to be honest...

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  • Sometimes it's hard to be honest...

    I was pretty much just given the opportunity to receive $250 dollars for nothing. I'm in the military and when you get to a new unit they reimburse you for any air fare or whatever you had to pay out of your pocket to get to training and duty station and all that stuff. I was called and asked about my trip from California to NC and asked how much my ticket cost and if I payed for it. Pretty much I could have said whatever price (within reason) and that I payed for the ticket and I would have gotten a direct deposit into my account with that money. I initially said I payed for the ticket thinking I had but shortly after hanging up I realized that the ticket was payed for by the gov. I called back and told them.

    It was tempting...

  • #2
    In my experience, do you know what the most common reply from someone who's been arrested for theft, with money in their pocket?

    "I thought I could get away with it!"

    I imagine getting caught stealing from the US government, would get you a dishonorable discharge pronto, and shoot down your dreams of becoming a LEO.(if you have any such aspirations)

    Tempting or not, you did the right thing...you're a Saint
    "Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought" ~Henri Louis Bergson
    ______________________


    ComptonPOLICEGANGS.com

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    • #3
      You may or may not have ever gotten caught. But if you did, do you think your career and future are worth $250? It's very tempting but you did he right thing.
      "Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything!"-Wyatt Earp

      "You never know when crazy will show up!"-Irishdep

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      • #4
        Yeah, I don't think I would have gotten caught. From what I hear they're really disorganized about travel claims. When I was on the phone the lady was like "Are you sure you payed for it" and I was like "Yeah, I'm pretty sure I can call home and talk to my mom and see if she remembers for sure." The lady was like naw, it's ok. haha

        Plus if they did ask I could have "just forgotten"...

        But yep, stealing money like that aint any behavior for an aspiring LEO I guess.

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        • #5
          Even among all the technilogical advances, travel claims are the worst in the military because people lose reciepts, have others pay, and don't even get me started on goverment credit cards. Depending on what branch you are in is how bad the claims dept. is. I was in the Marines so travel claims always got screwed up. I have had Pvt. Smuchatelly screw me over a couple of times. I have had them take money when they shouldn't have and give when they shouldn't have, take it back both times, and then give it back . If you get paid for something that you shouldn't have they will most likely tell you don't worry about it...some will say don't touch the money until they take it back from your account. It is a real crap shoot with claims...stay honest and keep ALL YOUR PAPERWORK AND RECIEPTS!! I doubt it will end your career over 250 dollars but you might get "no paid dues" until they get theirs back....can't believe you just found out how to get over claims!! How long have you been in? If I took advantage of everytime I could get over on the goverment I would be rich!! In jail but non the less rich!!
          "When I came home, people often asked me about Iraq, and mostly I told them it wasn't so bad. I didn't know how to explain myself to them. The war really wasn't so bad. Yes, there were bombs and shootings and nervous times, but that was just the job. In fact, going to war is rather easy. You react to situations around you and try not to die. There are no electric bills or car payments or chores around the house. Just go to work, come home alive, and do it again tomorrow." - Brian Mockenhaupt

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          • #6
            Good on ya!
            Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

            sigpic

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            • #7
              Wise choice, man :-)

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              • #8
                It's always good to do the right thing. My brother in law accidentally received a $25,000 bonus through the military. He kept contacting people to see what he needed to do to get it taken out out of their bank account. They could have easily kept it but knew they couldn't.
                I have come across people many times that have thousands in drug money and they're illegal. It would be easy for me to say they had oh say $2K instead of $5k. No matter how big or small the amount is, you have to live with yourself. The consequences are big for this but even if no one ever found out- could you wake up each morning and live with yourself? When I die, I want INTEGRITY put on my tomb stone because I feel that is what best describes me. I live with integrity.

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                • #9
                  Hard to be honest

                  When I left the Marine Corps in Jan of 1966, I was stationed in Las Vegas Nevada. You read it right. I was paid the amount of $26.00 travel pay to my place of enlistment, Los Angeles Calif. The figure was based on coach airfare. I had the option of flying, taking the train, or the bus. My point is, in that admitedly low tech age, the Marine Corps had a pretty decent handle on how it cost to get from point "A" to point "B".

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                  • #10
                    Kudos to you Conner for your honesty. Honesty and integrity are so had to find nowadays. Trust is one of those funny things - once you lose it's hard to earn back.

                    When I went through the Peoria PD's citizen academy one of the Sgts. told us a story about going through ALEA (Arizona Law Enforcemnet Acadamy) and some of the integrity "tests" that they put you through.

                    The penny test - They tell you that anything left behind in the locker or desk that you use that day has to be reported and a form filled out. So at some point a penny (or some other coin) will be placed in your locker (or desk) and they will wait to see if you report it and fill out the proper form. If you don't that may be grounds for dismissal. I know that some people are going to say "Oh my gosh, that is just sooo petty!" There is a darned good reason behind though. Think about it.... If you'd take a penny that didn't belong to you when NOBODY was looking, how on earth could you be trusted when you take a suspect (say a drug dealer) into custody that has $8,000 in cold hard cash?

                    The pen test - The sgt. will give you a pen when you start the academy. You are infomed that this is not YOUR pen, but HIS pen. You need to keep it on you at all times. You don't have to always use it, but when he asks where is his pen then you'd better be able to show it to him. They tell you NOT to lose that pen. Again, is this a silly test? To some it is, but I look at it this way (I am sure they do too). If you can't keep track of a simple thing like a pen are you going to be able to be trusted to keep track of your badge, gun, or (god forbid) a suspect? Not to mention the amount of paper work that is generated during an average shift.
                    Last edited by katzeyze; 04-18-2007, 10:11 PM.
                    R.I.P. Sgt. 1st Class Raymond J. Munden

                    You're service and sacrifice will not be forgotten.

                    Kieth M.
                    I once knew a guy who said, "I'll step over any nine to get to three threes!"

                    I knew at that precise moment that he and I would never get into a fistfight over a woman.

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                    • #11
                      Hey PhilipCal,
                      Not so simple as it was back in the day...now instead of having just a few Marines running the claims department, you now have a combination of Marines and civilians running the department with the civilians giving the orders most of the time. Many things are now done over the interent, ie take leave, check in/out, change bank and direct deposit info. Maybe this is why so many claims get messed up but it is not like it used to be. Many portions of the military have gone to civilian contractors or civil service positions and sometimes this makes things harder on the Marines because they either don't know the military language or don't care about the Marines situation. I had a civilian do my claim when I got out! Things were much easier when it was just Marines taking care of their own....
                      "When I came home, people often asked me about Iraq, and mostly I told them it wasn't so bad. I didn't know how to explain myself to them. The war really wasn't so bad. Yes, there were bombs and shootings and nervous times, but that was just the job. In fact, going to war is rather easy. You react to situations around you and try not to die. There are no electric bills or car payments or chores around the house. Just go to work, come home alive, and do it again tomorrow." - Brian Mockenhaupt

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Conner
                        Yeah, I don't think I would have gotten caught. From what I hear they're really disorganized about travel claims.
                        Tell me about it. When I was in I was PCSing to Korea and recieved all my travel $ for my wife to move elsewhere while I was there. At the last minute things changed and I was no longer going. Well I tried like crazy to give back the money I had recieved and everywhere I went they told me they couldn't do anything or directed me somewhere else where they promptly told me they could do nothing. One officer even told me just to not bother and keep the money because it would be more trouble and effort for the Army to do the proper admin work to take the money back then the amount was actually worth.

                        Well after exhausting all of my options i just sat on the money and didn't spend it. I inquired about it again at the time of my ETS and got the same responses. I sat on that money for several years after leaving the Army thinking that one day they would come looking for it. Nothing yet. I'ts been 7 years.
                        Two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead.

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                        • #13
                          Make all due effort to report the mistake,


                          and keep the money in a no-risk, interest bearing account!
                          Last edited by pvtbuddie; 04-21-2007, 06:09 PM.
                          .
                          .
                          lib'-er-ty: the freedom given to you to make the wrong decision, based on the reasoned belief that you will normally make the right one.

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                          • #14
                            Best advice given here so far!!
                            "When I came home, people often asked me about Iraq, and mostly I told them it wasn't so bad. I didn't know how to explain myself to them. The war really wasn't so bad. Yes, there were bombs and shootings and nervous times, but that was just the job. In fact, going to war is rather easy. You react to situations around you and try not to die. There are no electric bills or car payments or chores around the house. Just go to work, come home alive, and do it again tomorrow." - Brian Mockenhaupt

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Devil's Advocate:

                              If you had taken the money, they might eventually discover that they need a better auditing system for their travel pay.

                              See? If you had taken the money you would have just been trying to help point out the flaws in their accounting (just kidding!)

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