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December 30, 2013

News Briefs December 30, 2013

Man charged with bilking VA for travel expenses

Prosecutors say a Memphis, Tenn., man has been charged with improperly billing the Veterans Affairs Medical Center more than $5,000 in mileage for trips to and from Mississippi that he never made.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reimburses disabled veterans 41.5 cents per mile if they must travel to seek treatment.

Investigators said 57-year-old Jimmy Dale Wilson collected $5,674.94 by claiming to make about 73 trips from Tupelo, Miss., to Memphis between September 2010 and January 2011. Authorities said Wilson, who had been living at a Memphis homeless shelter at the time, never made the trips.

In a Friday news release, Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich said Wilson has been indicted on a charge of theft over $1,000.

It could not be determined if Wilson has a lawyer. AP

 

Libya releases four U.S. military personnel

Four U.S. military personnel investigating potential evacuation routes in Libya were taken into custody at a checkpoint and then detained briefly by the Libyan government before being released, a U.S. official said Dec. 27.

No one was injured. The military personnel were taken to the U.S. Embassy after their release, a Defense Department official said. The official was not authorized to discuss the incident by name and requested anonymity.

The four were supporting U.S. Marine security forces protecting the American Embassy, the official said. They were likely U.S. special operations forces, which have been deployed to Libya.

An altercation apparently took place at a checkpoint near the town of Sabratha, the official said. Reports of gunfire could not be confirmed.

After they were detained at the checkpoint, the Americans were transferred to the Ministry of the Interior and held for a few hours, the official said.

The U.S. Embassy in Tripoli includes a security detail. The embassy’s personnel are restricted in their movements in Libya. AP




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Northrop Grumman photograph

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NASA photograph by David Olive

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