Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Navy officer Lt Cdr Andrew Ball 'abused credit card'

A Royal Navy officer made £2,653 of fraudulent claims on a Ministry of Defence credit card, a court martial in Hampshire has been told.

Lt Cdr Andrew Ball is accused of claiming for personal expenses including restaurant bills and car hire while on work exchange in the US.

Capt Stuart Crozier, prosecuting, said Lt Cdr Ball had also "dishonestly" claimed twice for items.

The 41-year-old faces nine charges of fraud at Portsmouth Naval Base.

'Overwhelmed by administration'

These charges relate to expenses made during his time at the US navy's war college in Portsmouth, Rhode Island in 2009.

There were three restaurant bills and a $1,429 car hire bill in Orlando, Florida.

The other five charges relate to authentic claims that were paid for using an online expenses system but then also allegedly paid for using the government procurement card.

Capt Crozier said: "It was the hire car bill in July 2009 which came to the attention of the British Defence Section and as a result an investigation was launched."

He added: "He [Lt Cdr Ball] said that his personal administration for the first six months hadn't been as good as it should have been to which he found himself overwhelmed by the administration."

The trial continues.

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