A LIEUTENANT Commander has been booted out of the Royal Navy for using a government credit card to swindle £1,500 from the Ministry of Defence while he was working in America in 2009.
Lt Cdr Andrew Ball was also handed a nine-month prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered to pay back £1,470 in compensation.
The 41-year-old warfare officer, who was based at HMS Collingwood in Fareham, was found guilty of fraud while he was on an exchange programme to train US Navy officers in Rhode Island.
The court martial heard Ball was given a government credit card, which he abused to pay for restaurant bills and make double claims on utility bills he’d already claimed for through the MoD’s online expenses system.
Judge Robert Hill called the fraud between January and August 2009 ‘systematic’.
Ball has medals for service in Iraq and Northern Ireland and was on a £48,000 salary.
His wife Julie sobbed during his sentencing yesterday.
The father-of-three, who joined the navy in 1994, briefly joined the Special Boat Service in 2007 but he returned to mainstream operations following an injury.
During the trial, Ball said he made the claims by mistake due to his poor personal administration in the US .
His defence counsel Christopher Wing said: ‘The memories of his achievements and the memories at the loss of his potential will gnaw at him everyday for what he has thrown away.’