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Former Marine reservists charged in travel plot

Feb. 20, 2013 - 10:12AM   |   Last Updated: Feb. 20, 2013 - 10:12AM  |  
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SAN DIEGO — A former Marine Corps reservist has pleaded not guilty to several counts of conspiracy to commit bribery and make false claims in a scheme involving lodging and travel vouchers.

Thirty-two-year-old Luis Gilbert Menchaca of Romoland entered his pleas Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen Crawford in San Diego.

Prosecutors told City News Service that Menchaca and another former reservist submitted thousands of dollars in false travel and lodging claims at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.

Mauel Ramos Padilla of Lompoc was arraigned Jan. 24. When he was called to active duty between 2002 and 2011, he would work in an office that processes the claims.

Prosecutors allege Menchaca received housing payments from the scheme, while Ramos got thousands in bribes.

The men are due back in court March 1.

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