Sunday November 22,2014 : NUCLEAR COMMANDER ACCUSED OF COUNTERFEITING POKER CHIPS
Shocking new disclosures on disgraced US Navy rear admiral Tim Giardina.
A penchant for playing poker that apparently went out of control may lay behind the latest disclosures on the behaviour of Rear Admiral Tim Giardina, the US Navy nuclear commander who was removed from his post earlier this year amid allegations of using counterfeit poker chips at the Horseshoe casino in Council Bluffs, Iowa
New revelations, based on documents allegedly seen by the Associated Press news agency, indicate that there is conclusive evidence linking the admiral to the actual forging of the $500 counterfeit chips, suggesting that his story that he was unaware that he was playing with counterfeit chips is questionable.
The reports suggest that DNA analysis has linked Giardina to the actual fraudulent preparation of the faux chips – $1 chips that were "converted" into $500 chips.
Considerable trouble was taken in trying to deceive by converting the chips, investigators reported.
The centre section of a genuine $500 chip had been photocopied or scanned and then printed on to adhesive stickers, which were then applied to the front and back of real $1 chips that had been painted to match the colour of a $500 chip.
Where the forger/s failed, however, was in missing the fact that the stickers obscured a security feature within the chip which is visible only under ultra-violet light.
Further damning information obtained under the Freedom of Information Act suggests that the commander's poker playing went beyond the occasional flutter; at one point he was playing 15 hours a week on average at the Horseshoe, which is positioned in close proximity to a major US nuclear arsenal across the border in Omaha.
The navy officer's conduct has brought severe career-limiting sanctions down upon him; he has been demoted from a three-star rank to two-star and assigned a desk job in Washington, and given a written reprimand and ordered to forfeit $4,000 in pay.
A navy spokesman said that it was decided not to court martial Giardina because it was uncertain a conviction could be achieved.
Giardina has declined comment on the forging reports, which have been widely publicised in the US mainstream press.