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Two VING Soldiers Arrested

Two Virgin Islands National Guard soldiers were arrested Thursday after a federal grand jury indicted them on charges of wire fraud, theft of government money, and making false statements to the government, U.S. Attorney Ronald W. Sharpe announced Friday.

Staff Sgt. Emmrie Edwards, 37, was charged in a 49-count indictment with 47 counts of wire fraud, one count of theft of government money, and one count of making a false statement to the government. After his advice of rights hearing Thursday, U.S. Magistrate Judge George W. Cannon released Edwards on an unsecured $50,000 bond.

His arraignment is scheduled for May 4.

Lt. Col. Kenneth Alleyne, 45, was charged in a 46-count indictment with 44 counts of wire fraud, one count of theft of government money, and one count of making a false statement to the government. After his advice of rights hearing Friday, Cannon released Alleyne on an unsecured $50,000 bond.

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His arraignment is scheduled for May 6.

According to Sharpe, the indictments followed months of investigative work by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigations Command Major Procurement Fraud Unit, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service.

The charges for both soldiers relate to improper use of government-issued housing allowance funds.

Wire fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The charge of theft of government money carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The charge of making a false statement to the government carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christian Stringer.

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