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Former Minot judge advocate, convicted of attempted larceny in PCS move, to be discharged

Lt. Col. Deric Prescott, the former staff judge advocate at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, will be dismissed from the Air Force after he was convicted at court-martial of attempted larceny during a permanent change-of-station move and making a false official statement.

On Nov. 8, Prescott was convicted of one count and one specification of making a false official statement, a violation of Article 107 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and one count and one specification of attempted larceny of an amount greater than $500 from the moving company Total Moving Management, a violation of Article 80 of the UCMJ, the 21st Space Wing said in an email Monday.

Stephen Brady, a spokesman for the 21st, said in the email that Prescott was found not guilty of a third charge of stealing more than $500 from another moving company during another PCS move. He was also found not guilty of three other specifications of making a false official statement.

Brady later said that the false statement for which Prescott was convicted was a claim that an electrical item’s screen had been smashed in and otherwise damaged.

On Dec. 30, Prescott was sentenced to be dismissed from the Air Force, the equivalent of a dishonorable discharge, Brady said.

Prescott’s attorney, Frank Spinner, said Tuesday he will appeal his conviction to the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals. Spinner said that during his appeal Prescott will challenge the sufficiency of the evidence used to convict him.

“It was a very long and hard-fought trial,” Spinner said. “We presented a strong defense and are disappointed in the outcome. We fully hope he will be vindicated on appeal.”

Prescott allegedly filed “a household goods claim [in 2017] which included items for which [he] was not entitled claims payment and would have resulted in such payment” if Total Military Management hadn’t noticed similarities between that and previous claims in 2011 and 2014.

As staff judge advocate, Prescott served as the top lawyer at Minot, providing legal assistance and advice to commanders, first sergeants and other supervisors there. The legal office he oversaw also handled military justice for courts-martial and non-judicial punishment actions, as well as assisting service members, retirees and family members on personal, non-criminal legal matters such as wills.

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