Afghan Massacre Suspect Robert Bales Owes Ohio Man $1.5 Million

The Lewis-McChord soldier accused of massacring 16 Afghan civilians last week is obviously in deep trouble. But with today's news that he owes $1.5 million to an Ohio retiree, it's clear that his troubles began before he left for the Middle East.

In 2000, according to the UK's Guardian, Staff Sgt. Robert Bales was working as a stockbroker when a client, Gary Liebschner, asked him to sell of some stock in order to pay for his medical bills. According to Liebschner, Bales didn't hold up his end of the bargain. In 2003, an arbitrator agreed, describing Bales' conduct as "fraudulent and malicious" and ordering him to repay Liebschner an amount that, with interest, now totals $1.5 million.

"He robbed me of my life savings," Liebschner told WCPO-TV in Ohio. "We didn't know where he was. We heard the Bahamas, and all kinds of places."

Of course, we know now that Bales wasn't on a tropical island, he was actually doing the first of three tours in Iraq, before his fourth, final, and most tragic, in Afghanistan. Says Liebschner of Bales, he's a con man and a "smooth talker."

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