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Captain pleads to equipment thefts in Iraq
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ALEXANDRIA, Va. - An Army captain pleaded guilty Monday to stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of military equipment from an Army base in Iraq and selling it to a businessman there.

Elbert W. George III, 36, of Suffolk, Va., faces up to five years in prison after pleading guilty in U.S. District Court to a single count of conspiracy to steal government property.

He is the second person to plead guilty in the theft ring. Sgt. 1st Class Roy Greene Jr., 32, of Sylvester, Ga., pleaded guilty to an identical charge last week.

George and Greene were stationed at an army base in Balad, Iraq, that disposes of excess military equipment. The equipment is either reallocated within the military, or donated to other government agencies, including local governments in the U.S., as well as the Iraqi military.

According to court records, George, Greene and another soldier who has not yet been charged stole a bus, eight trucks, 19 generators, five trailers and other items and sold them to an Iraqi businessman who paid them in $100 bills. The soldiers received anywhere from $400,000 to $1 million for the stolen items between December 2007 and June 2008.

George and Greene split the profits evenly between them, according to court records.

George and his lawyer, Ron Smith, declined comment after Monday's plea hearing. George is free on a personal recognizance bond while he awaits sentencing on July 17.

George and Green are among at least 40 military personnel and civilians who have been convicted on charges including bribery, theft and fraud in association with the Iraq war, according to the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction

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