Suspect in Afghan killings was once found liable in financial fraud

 Staff Sgt. Robert Bales Staff Sgt. Robert Bales Spc. Ryan Hallock/AP

Robert Bales, the U.S. staff sergeant being held following the massacre of 16 Afghan civilians last week, joined the Army following the attacks of Sept. 11 and months after he had been accused of engaging in financial fraud as a stock broker, according to The Washington Post.

Bales was accused of the fraud while handling the retirement account of an elderly client in Ohio, according to The Post. An arbitrator later ordered Bales and the owner of the firm that employed him to pay $1.4 million — about half for compensation and half in punitive damages — for taking part in “fraud” and “unauthorized trading,” according to a disciplinary board for brokers and brokerage houses.

The Post also reports that Bales’ home near Tacoma, Wash., was put up for a short sale a few days before the March 11 shootings in Afghanistan.

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