New Bern, N.C. — A former Fort Bragg soldier was sentenced Thursday to 20 months in federal prison for stealing $100,000 earmarked for her unit in Afghanistan, authorities said.
Nancy Nicole Smith, 27, of Columbia, S.C., also was ordered to repay the money. She pleaded guilty earlier to theft of government money and bulk cash smuggling.
Smith was a staff sergeant assigned to a personnel battalion attached to the 7th Special Forces Group that was deployed to Afghanistan from September 2009 through February 2010. Authorities said she was responsible for disbursing money and reconciling books and that she falsified records on at least two occasions to steal money.
She then hid the money in a backpack to smuggle it back to the U.S., authorities said.
"Nancy Smith stole money intended for urgent projects in a combat zone, betraying her oath and our armed forces," Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction John Sopko said in a statement.
"Stealing money during a time of war that is intended for such an important cause is reprehensible, and we will continue to do everything in our investigative power to bring those responsible to justice," Frank Robey, director of the Army Criminal Investigation Command’s Major Procurement Fraud Unit, said in a statement.