On Friday, it was announced that a 49-year-old man from Edmonds, Washington had been found guilty after a four-day trial. Michael Noel Leighton was convicted of four counts of wire fraud and a single count of embezzlement. The jury deliberated for roughly two hours before handing down the verdicts. Sentencing has now been sentenced for February 22, 2018.
Records filed in the case show that Leighton volunteered to become a training officer for the local NSCC unit in 2011. The defendant was responsible for organizing and implementing training opportunities for teenaged students or Sea Cadets. The program was funded by federal grants from the United States Navy.
Sea Cadets and their parents also paid fees to take part in the programs. Leighton and a family member had control of the bank account used for the program. From October 2011 to December 2012, Leighton withdraw thousands of dollars from the program’s account and used the money for his own person purpose. The money was used for meals, gas and firearms purchases. These purchases were not allowed.
Eventually, the Naval Sea Cadet Corps asked Leighton for audit reports and receipts to account for his spending. The defendant gave fraudulent report in an attempt to cover up his illegitimate spending. After new volunteer leaders took over, it was discovered that items bought with the funds had gone missing. For additional information, be sure to click here.