U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant Eric Scott Hamilton of Pelzer pleaded guilty Wednesday in a conspiracy to steal more than 70 electrical generators from two USMC bases in Iraq.
According to documents released by federal prosecutors, the crime happened while Hamilton was stationed at Camp Fallujah, Iraq in 2008 where he was in charge of a military storage yard. Hamilton admitted he entered into a scheme with a USMC officer to help steal electrical generators from the base by private Iraqi contractors. Hamilton also entered into a separate scheme with a private Iraqi contractor to “facilitate that contractor’s theft” of electrical generators from the base. Both of these theft schemes continued after the USMC closed Camp Fallujah in approximately October 2008 and relocated personnel there to Camp Ramadi, Iraq.
Hamilton admitted that he received more than $124,000 in payments from the USMC officer and the Iraqi contractor, through checks issued to Hamilton’s wife in the United States by the USMC officer’s wife and wire transfer payments to a bank account in the United States. Hamilton reportedly concealed approximately $43,000 of the cash among American flags contained in foot lockers that he mailed from Iraq to his wife.
The investigation into this case continues. As part of his guilty plea, Hamilton has agreed to pay $124,944 in restitution to the United States. A sentencing date has not yet been set by the court.