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Porn operator accused of duping Army


By Reuters
March 7, 2002, 3:40 PM PT


A computer specialist was charged Thursday with operating a sex show Web site on a 
high-speed line which he got the U.S. Army to pay for by telling them it was used for 
communicating with forces in Bosnia.
Gilbert Benjamin, 49, was arrested at his Neptune, N.J., home by special agents of the 
Army Criminal Investigation Division and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service. A 
68-count indictment charges him with mail and wire fraud and submitting false claims 
with the intention of defrauding the government, said assistant U.S. Attorney Michael 
Guadagno.

The indictment alleges Benjamin charged the Army more than $100,000 for the cost of 
running the T-1 Internet line between 1997 and 1998, telling officials at the Fort 
Monmouth, N.J., Army base it was needed to back up the base's communications with U.S. 
military forces in Bosnia.

Instead, Benjamin was using the line to operate an adult entertainment Web site called 
Blue Sky whose paid subscribers could participate in two-way video hookups including 
live sex shows, Guadagno said.

In a second ploy, Benjamin allegedly ordered computers and computer parts claiming 
they were needed for Army-related activities. But he used them for his venture then 
resold them to an electronics company owned by his brother in Berlin, N.H.

The total loss to the government is estimated at more than $300,000, Guadagno said.

Benjamin faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and $250,000 fine on each 
count.

Story Copyright   2002 Reuters Limited.  All rights reserved.

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