Lt. Col. Christopher DeMure charged with fraud

| May 25, 2018 | 95 Comments

Bobo sends us a link to the story of Lt. Col. Christopher DeMure, commander of the 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment within the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, is charged with wire fraud and money laundering.

According to charging documents, DeMure’s scheme involved claims made to military insurer USAA Federal Savings Bank as well as American Express on at least seven separate occasions. In one incident, he allegedly claimed more than $215,000 in false losses from a U-Haul van he said was burglarized in July 2016 when he moved to JBER from Fort Benning, Ga.

DeMure filed forged documents from local police to bolster his claims;

In a Palmer case from last year, DeMure allegedly told local police a backpack containing an Apple iWatch and goods worth thousands of dollars was stolen from the parking lot of the Palmer Fred Meyer. After speaking with Palmer police officer Virginia Calvert, he allegedly submitted a fake Palmer police report written by an “Officer Z. Calvert” to American Express to document his claim – a report denied by the real Officer Calvert when investigators spoke with her.

He’s looking at 20 years in prison and a quarter-million dollar fine.

Category: Army News

Comments (95)

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  1. OldSoldier54 says:

    Hang ‘im high. Disgrace.

  2. Bobo says:

    He had an excellent bio as a major assigned to the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point in 2009 (https://ctc.usma.edu/team/major-chris-demure/):

    Major Chris DeMure graduated in 2000 from the U.S. Military Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics, and was commissioned into the Infantry. He has worked in a variety of positions while assigned to the demilitarized zone (DMZ) in the Republic of Korea, the 75th Ranger Regiment, and the 82nd Airborne Division. His service includes nearly three years deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as commanding an infantry company for 37 months. He was also assigned as an Infantry Captains Assignment Officer. Chris attended Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, and completed a Master’s in Public Administration and a Master’s of Arts in International Relations. His curriculum included studying abroad at King’s College in London, England and attending the International Institute of Counterterrorism in Herzilya, Israel. His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (with 2 oak leaf cluster and “V” device for valor), the Meritorious Service Medal (with oak leaf cluster), Senior Parachutist Badge, Ranger Tab, and Combat Infantryman Badge. Chris was named a 2007 recipient of the General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award. He is married to the former Tina Guzik.

    • REM says:

      West Point? Please remember ALL Academy grads are Political Appointee. This is how/why we get a Communist in the US Army, thieves, and 4 Star liars. Just another elitist who believes Law is for the peons.

      • USAFRetired says:

        REM,

        You saw fit to capitalize the word ALL.
        That was disingenuous. Not ALL are political appointees, or appointed by politicians if you’d rather.

        Sons and Daughters of Medal of Honor recipients would seem to be not included in ALL.

        • Hondo says:

          Ditto those receiving appointments from enlisted status and sons/daughters of 100% disabled vets. Not positive, but I don’t believe either of those categories require a Congressional nomination.

          FWIW: the categories and sources for appointments to West Point can be found in this link; a fair number of the categories don’t appear to require nomination by a Member of Congress:

          https://www.usma.edu/admissions/sitepages/apply_nominations.aspx

          I’m reasonably sure the categories at the Air Force and Naval Academies are the same. Dunno about the Coast Guard and Merchant Marine Academies.

          • O-4E says:

            Having set on academy nomination selection boards for two different Representatives I can tell you that politics played no part in the selections I was involved in. Both Reps nominated the primaries and alternates directly from the lists the board recommended.

            • Hondo says:

              O-4E: I wasn’t implying that all Congressional appointments to service academies were made for political reasons. I was simply pointing out that there are a helluva lot of other appointees to the service academies.

              There are 535 Members of Congress – add the other officials with nomination authority at the link I provided, and you have maybe 545 total. My understanding is that each has 5 “slots” for nominees at a given service academy. That means there are at most about 2,725 at each service academy nominated to attend by politicians.

              The “big 3” service academies (Army, Navy, Air Force) each have an authorized student body strength of over 4,200. That leaves a helluva lot of other slots to be filled from the “military connected” category.

              I’m glad to see that the two Congresscritters for which you helped “rack and stack” potential nominees to the service academies played it straight. I’m fairly sure many if not most Members of Congress do that. However, I’m also fairly sure that not all of them do so.

        • Sj says:

          I’ve known quite a few who were “political” appts that had Jack shit political bones. They were damned smart and active in school and community leadership roles. Big paint brush you have the Rem.

  3. sj says:

    Damn. Fast burner with a prestigious command. Put him under the jail.

    • sj says:

      Wonder if the Dependa is also implicated.

      • MrBill says:

        It wouldn’t surprise me if her spending habits may have factored into his need to supplement his O-5 salary.

        • AZtoVA says:

          Expensive tastes early on:
          “Tina Guzik and Christopher DeMure were married Oct. 19, 2002, at St. John the Evangelist Church in St. John. A reception was held at Glenwood Oaks in Glenwood, Ill.

          Mr. and Mrs. DeMure spent their honeymoon in Fiji.”

          Was was a lowly 1LT at the time.

          • AZtoVA says:

            I spent my honeymoon in Hawaii as an Lt, all expenses paid – if you can call a 3 year tour at KBAY a honeymoon.

            • 82ndrep says:

              You’re absolutely right. This guy is a scumbag. My ex was best friends with his wife while we were deployed, and he pushed back my leave so she could steal $70,000 from me. By the time I got back to a page to change power of attorney, the damage was done. Now I’m wondering if my ex gave some of that money to Chris and his goal digging wife.

          • MrBill says:

            Our running joke is that we had a four-month honeymoon in the mid-Missouri Ozarks – that is, finishing my tour at Fort Lost In The Woods.

            • Mason says:

              Did they have the Wal-Mart in town yet? I was there for a few months in the early 2000’s and believe the locals when they said how excited they were when Wally World came to town. Apparently there was nothing but brothels, tattoo parlors, and pawn shops outside the main gate. To be fair they still had all those, but they also had a Wal-Mart!

  4. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    So ALL THOSE YEARS spent working to make O5 as well as pave the path for going higher and he trades it all for a CHEAPSHIT con game. Tell me and others here on TAH®™ Lt. Col. Christopher DeMure, WAS IT WORTH THE GODDAMNED RISK? Enjoy washing dishes at Jim-Bob and Billy-Dan’s Bar, Grill and Mud-Wrasslin’ Honky-Tonk!

  5. Stephen F. McCartney, M.D. says:

    I recall a USMC married couple in Okinawa, both Disbursing Clerks who falsified a shit load of phony hotel, U-Haul and travel receipts during their self move across CONUS.
    It caught up with them when they got to The Rock. Two careers screwed to the wall, for only several thousand dollars. I suspect a review showed they had more chicanery before this one.

  6. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    It strongly appears, if the allegations are true, that despite his education, he is one stupid SOB. He scored once. That should have been it. He would have gotten away with that, but he was stupid as hell and went back for second helpings.

  7. Club Manager, USA ret. says:

    The officer obviously had a money problem and chose a dumb way of resolving it. Then again, he is Infantry.

  8. AnotherPat says:

    The Department of Justice report on him:

    https://www.justice.gov/usao-ak/pr/us-army-lieutenant-colonel-arrested-and-charged-defrauding-insurance-providers-0

    Question for others: Am guessing he will be trialed in the Civilian Sector. Does this mean hands off for Military, i.e. UCMJ?

    • Hondo says:

      I’d guess yes AP (due to Federal double jeopardy), but one of our resident JAG types can give a definitive answer.

      However, unless he’s prior enlisted he doesn’t yet have 20 years service. I’m pretty sure that separations for cause override the 18 year sanctuary – and being convicted of a Federal felony would certainly support administrative separation for cause short of retirement.

      • AnotherPat says:

        Thank you, Hondo. Was thinking the same about Double Jeopardy as well as type of separation if found guilty in civilian sector.

      • timactual says:

        Aren’t there a few other charges available in the UCMJ? Conduct unbecoming…, etc.? Articles 133 and 134. I would also guess there were one or two specific criminal actions that were not included in the US Attorney’s indictment, so are still available.

        In other words, I think a really pissed off convening authority and a good JAG officer could find a way to court martial him. If he gets jail time, that’s AWOL.

    • AZtoVA says:

      He can be tried in both venues. If he’s short of retirement, it is likely he will be as it takes a Court Martial to dismiss an officer. To keep publicity down, they may offer a plea deal – guilty plea on the fed side and they let him resign his commission quietly.

      I hear Rob Porter got away with a lot and kept his retirement. Pleaded guilty and turned songbird in exchange for military not opening a case to take back his retirement. Condolences to the Sines family.

      • AnotherPat says:

        Thank you, AZtoVA for the feedback. Gonna be interesting how this all turns out.

      • Hondo says:

        AZtoVA: I’d agree with you 100% if DeMure were facing state or foreign charges. However, he’s facing Federal charges and will be tried in Federal criminal court. As I read it, a previous CMA decision indicates that may prevent the military from court-martialing him for those offenses.

        Specifically, United States v. Stokes, 12 M.J. 229, 231 (C.M.A.1982), appears to state that “trial by a court-martial is barred ․ only if the accused has already been tried in a court which derives its authority from the Federal Government”. A Federal criminal trial obviously takes place in a court which derives its authority from the Federal Government, so the above would seem to apply.

        I say United States v. Stokes “appears to state” because United States v. Stokes is old enough that the full opinion may not be available on-line (I haven’t been able to find it). However, the quote above from United States v. Stokes appears in a 2012 opinion from the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit concerning a different military-related case. Since the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals quoted it, United States v. Stokes apparently is still current precedent regarding double-jeopardy relating to courts-martial. That US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit opinion can be found in electronic form at

        https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-4th-circuit/1591377.html

        Bottom line: as I read it, once DeMure is tried in Federal court and a verdict rendered, he can still be court-martialed – but only for a different violation of the UCMJ than the charges for which he was convicted or acquitted in Federal court. Article 133, Conduct Unbecoming, comes to mind as a possibility; there may be others.

        We really need one of our military lawyer readers to step in here and give us a definitive answer. This one is rather complicated.

        • rgr769 says:

          Nice bit of lawering there, Hondo. I suspect he will be promptly court martialed for conduct unbecoming and anything else they can throw at him so he gets a BCD and forfeiture of all pay and allowances, possibly including his pension.

          • Hondo says:

            Thanks, rgr769.

            I hope you’re right and that Big Army finds a way to court-martial and dismiss this “fine individual” (if he’s guilty, of course). My fear is that he’ll find a way to play for time to the tune of 2 years while on active duty before convicted in civil court, but while not in civil confinement – then immediately put in his papers to retire.

            If this guy is guilty, IMO he damn sure doesn’t deserve a cent from Uncle Sam in terms of military retired pay. He was in a position of special trust and confidence, and betrayed both for cash.

  9. Jeff LPH 3, 63-66 says:

    WTF is wrong with these peeps. Why am I sitting here wasting the keyboard ribbon ink on this A-Hole.

  10. Sapper3307 says:

    Does anybody think his travel pay/refund will be under a microscope?

  11. Gravel says:

    Just spit-balling a thought here. It’s been my experience that when caught in something this big that there is usually some sort of prior (usually multiple) history leading up to it. I wonder if they’re going to leave the rocks as is, or start turning them over to see what else they can find?

    I’m not saying he’s done other stuff, just that the law of averages indicates that it’s highly probable.

    • HMCS(FMF) ret says:

      I was thinking the same thing – probably got away with it more than once and “went to the well” again with another fraudulent claim and got caught.

      • FatCircles0311 says:

        You people should read the stories. It’s even mentioned this was his 7th claim in the quotes John posted.

        • Gravel says:

          @FatCircles0311,

          I was referring more to further back in his past and not the multiple insurance frauds. As in possible missing/unaccounted for unit items, or other types of possible criminal behavior that wasn’t caught, but now make people go, “HMMMM?”

  12. Perry Gaskill says:

    I’ll take a guess that the $215,000 worth of stuff stolen sent up red flags with the insurance people. The bulk of value in the claim was apparently for a lot of jewelry, and what kind of doofus would leave it in an unattended U-Haul trailer?

    What’s also curious is why an insurance claim for that amount was paid in the first place. It seems doubtful if DeMure would have been charged for a fraudulent claim if he had been shot down on it initially.

    • 2/17 Air Cav says:

      “What’s also curious is why an insurance claim for that amount was paid in the first place.” A good, clean job with no prior red flags, let alone fraud claims, can explain that. If he made no special inquiries regarding insurance coverage of a U-Haul’s contents, and he did not raise his coverage, and the facts as reported to police were plausible, then a mere claim would not be suspicious. But once lightning strikes again, the bells, buzzers, and whistles sound loudly.

      • Mason says:

        Not to mention the insurance adjusters would look at an active army LTC, battalion CO differently that some meth-mouthed trailer park resident. You get a lot of benefit of the doubt with that kind of position/authority. Eventually that runs out when you start to get greedy.

  13. Carlton G. Long says:

    He looks like he could have done commercials for USAA and made some real money. Shrewd he ain’t.

  14. Guard Bum says:

    I had a horrible PCS move once with many things missing or smashed and filed a $4,000 claim of which I think we got about $1200 (depreciation) but I cannot imagine filing a claim for a quarter mil.

    17 years of war has allowed too many of these guys who may have been competent combat commanders but who have serious character flaws to progress through the system. The scary part is imaging how many more there are yet to be discovered.

  15. OldManchu says:

    Stepped on his dick so hard it made mine hurt.

  16. Mustang Major says:

    I am bet the LTC’s USAA claim stuck out due to the value and type of items lost and triggered a review and investigation by USAA.

    A guy like this makes you think what kind of crap he pulled during the course of his Army service. He will not be missed.

  17. FatCircles0311 says:

    Hope the Audi A7 was worth it. What a shit bag.

  18. NHSparky says:

    Even assuming he got paid the $215k, the fine negates that, and assuming he made at least O-6 and retired at 30 and lived 30 years past that, he pissed away roughly $3.5 million, plus COLA over that period.

    Very. Fucking. Dumb.

  19. USAF RET says:

    USAA isn’t stupid…Greedy, maybe, but not stupid. If he claims $250k of stuff that had never been insured under homeowners, renters, or for PCS they are going to wonder when it was purchased. If he says…uhhhhh, since I last PCS’d, they know he’s lying or inflating contents/values. We had idiots doing DiTY moves, renting uhauls, getting them weighed, then going to Lowes, buying a load of pavers. Weighing again, then trying to return the pavers. When the second guy did it Lowes clued in.

  20. Ex-PH2 says:

    What an idiot. Any gambling debts? Women hiding in the shadows offstage? Or did he just develop a greed streak over the course of his career and spend money like a drunken sailor on shore leave?

  21. rgr1480 says:

    Lt. Col. Christopher DeMure is definitely NOT being demure.

    [His relatives are probably saying that as well.]

  22. AZtoVA says:

    Degree in economics and doesn’t realize the extent of the electronic paper trail left by ANY transaction?

    “The jewelry items included a Tiffany & Co. necklace that DeMure told USAA was a family heirloom, which had an appraised value of $35,000. In fact, business records show that DeMure purchased the necklace on June 1, 2016, had it appraised on June 15, 2016, returned it on July 6, 2016, and on July 11, 2016, had it insured by USAA.”

    • 5JC says:

      WDF Was dude thinking? That is exactly the type activity insurance companies look for. Going from BC in a storied unit to wide pin striper will be too much for him. I bet he offs himself.

  23. rgr769 says:

    As a veteran of both the 509th and the 75th Infantry Regiments, I am shocked and embarrassed that such an officer could have served in those units, but then we did have fake POW Richard B. Cayton in our company in the Viet of the Nam, who defrauded the VA out of over $100K in benefits. I think this dude is headed for the federal pound after he gets the Big Chicken Dinner.

  24. OldSoldier54 says:

    I’m sure the infamous WPPA is in full damage control mode, just like with Johnson, Petraeus, et al. You or I would do Twenty, but we’ll be lucky if he gets 6 months.

    This POS has disgraced his uniform.

    • 5JC says:

      You must have missed the part where this was going through Federal District Court. There is no military court martial. DeMure is going to the big house. It is a huge fraud case with multiple fraud, money laundering and wire fraud charges. He is looking at up to 70 years in the Federal Pen (real years too) and up to $2M in fines. They don’t even need him to plea to it either. He did it himself so he can’t squeal on anyone. His best bet is to offer restitution and serving a few years. If this thing goes to trial he may as well just bend over, drop trou, and get ready for the M1 Tank they are going to drive up his corn chute.

      I have to give props to the SA investigating it looks like solid work.

      But yeah… military court martial… let him retire as a captain… poor ring knocker…

  25. Old 1SG, US Army (retired) says:

    What a dumbass…

  26. timactual says:

    Nobody got curious about how an O-5 could afford a $35,000 piece of jewelry? Or $215,000 worth of stuff just in a U-Haul van?

    Pay scales must be a hell of a lot higher than they were when I was a kid. If my father, also an O-5, had purchased a piece of jewelry that expensive, alarm bells would have gone off. Even adjusting for inflation I doubt the family’s net worth was $215,000.

  27. vetfromhell says:

    USAA sucks. You will find better rates elsewhere.

  28. Ex-PH2 says:

    This guy is the Epitome of Idiocy. He has every opportunity in the blue-eyed world to do something splendid with his life – literally handed to him on a platter – and he decides to commit fraud.

    What an asshole.

    Yeah, yeah, I know all about ‘earned it’. No, the door was opened, someone pulled out the chair, and he was handed this gift, this opportunity and decided to just spit on it. I would willingly bet that he’s also an arrogant, self-serving asshole.

    Fuck him. Fuck him very much. Keelhauling would be too mild a punishment for him, even without scraping the hull.

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