Video by Reuters
The Marine Corps found Paul Whelan, the American citizen detained by Russia on espionage charges, guilty of attempting to steal more than $10,000 worth of currency from the U.S. government while deployed to Iraq in 2006 and bouncing nearly $6,000 worth of checks around the same time, according to records obtained by The Washington Post.
The details of the charges against Whelan from a special court-martial two years later, which resulted in his discharge for bad conduct, add to an increasingly complex picture of the 48-year-old former Marine, whom Russian officials have accused of spying. His case grew more perplexing Friday after Ireland became the fourth nation to acknowledge him as a citizen and seek consular access.
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Since his arrest last week in Moscow, Whelan has rocketed onto the public radar, drawing international attention to his complex journey from the Marine Corps Reserve to a detention cell in the Russian capital’s notorious Lefortovo Prison. People who served alongside Whelan said he was learning Russian and traveled to Moscow and St. Petersburg on vacation during the same deployment in which the Marine Corps accused him of attempted larceny.
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