Fort McCoy News Nov. 10, 2017

Inflating personally procured move weight

can end military member's career

In a Personally Procured Move (PPM), more weight equals more reimbursement. The temptation to inflate weight to get more money is understandable, but giving in to that temptation is a crime. There is little to be gained and a lot to lose.

Few realize how many Soldiers get caught making fraudulent PPM claims, but that is because those who get caught are kicked out of the Army. Soldiers and officers often think they have a sneaky way to inflate their weight, but the fact is, they don't. It is more likely that they have a sneaky way to end their careers. It just isn't worth it.

Transportation workers have seen it all. They can tell at a glance whether your weights add up. They know the weight of every rental truck on the market and are one internet search away from the dry weight of every other vehicle as well. You are not entitled to be reimbursed for the weight of your personal vehicle, sacks of concrete, a tractor, or the difference between what you actually drove and a lighter truck that you rented just for the "empty" ticket.

Transportation workers have heard it all too. Variations of "maybe I weighed the truck wrong," "I don't remember what I had on the trailer," or "my car was on the trailer for this weight ticket" are all familiar refrains.

A PPM is complicated, but claiming that fraudulent submissions were just innocent mistakes won't work. If you get more money because you made a mistake, everyone will assume it was on purpose. Any attempt to get paid for more than you actually moved is a career ender.

Before you make a career-ending choice, be aware that everyone is surprised by how they get caught. Video from weigh stations and gas stations, receipts from hardware stores, or even the dry weights of the vehicles can all be telltale signs of fraud. In previous eras, it may have been easier to get away with. Now, evidence is just a phone call, email, or search away.

PPMs are a great way to take care of personal belongings. Just be aware that when you are tempted to inflate how much you actually moved, that it is also a great way to get a criminal background and to lose your job. It is never worth losing the benefits you have worked so hard to gain.

(Article prepared by the Personal Property Processing Office.)