Royal Navy officer guilty of misusing his government credit card

GUILTY Lieutenant Commander Andrew Ball
GUILTY Lieutenant Commander Andrew Ball

Portsmouth Naval Base worker rapped for blue badge fraud

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A ROYAL Naval officer has been found guilty of using his government credit card to make £2,000 fraudulent expenses claims while he was working in America.

Lieutenant Commander Andrew Ball, 41, who now works at HMS Collingwood, was today found guilty of seven of nine charges at a Court Martial held at HMS Nelson in Portsmouth.

Ball misused his government procurement card, which was paid for directly by the Ministry of Defence, to pay for restaurant bills and other personal expenses while on an exchange programme training US Navy officers at Rhode Island in 2009.

The trial heard the experienced warfare officer also used the card to make pay for utility bills he’d already claimed for through the MoD’s online expenses system - what is known as double claiming.

After 10 hours of deliberations, a board of naval officers found Ball guilty of seven dishonesty offences - with the claims totalling $3,106 (£1,977).

Ball, who protested his innocence saying he made the claims by administrative error, was found not guilty of two charges relating to claims totalling $1882 (£1,198).

He is due to be sentenced at HMS Nelson on Friday.