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N.C. soldier pleads guilty in Afghan kickback scheme

The Associated Press

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GREENVILLE — A U.S. Army soldier who served in Afghanistan is pleading guilty to taking kickbacks from trucking contractors and stealing fuel.

Sgt. 1st Class James Edward Travis appeared Monday in U.S. District Court in Greenville to admit guilt on charges of accepting bribes and theft of government property.

Prosecutors say Travis deployed with the 3rd Special Forces Group to Afghanistan in 2012. His duties at Forward Operating Base Sharana included contracting for small construction projects and paying Afghan truckers to deliver supplies.

Investigators say Travis accepted kickbacks of up to $7,000 from various Army contractors and pocketed more than $210,000. Authorities say Travis also conspired with another soldier to steal almost 183,000 gallons of fuel from the base and sell it to the Afghan drivers.