Navy Vice-Admiral Gets His Chips Cashed Out

14 Oct 2013 | 02:56 Author: Seth Shafer

Navy Vice-Admiral Tim Giardina has been demoted while he's being investigated over possibly passing counterfeit chips at an Iowa casino.

Cheating at casinos is fairly commonplace and trying to pass counterfeit chips has been tried more than a few times but it's rare that a high-ranking military official would be under suspicion for such shenanigans.

Giardina was deputy commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, which among others things is tasked with looking after the nuclear arsenal of the U.S. He was demoted to a two-star admiral and will be reassigned pending investigation.

Giardina was originally suspended from duty on September 3 after the military launched an investigation after a casino not far from his base in eastern Nebraska claimed that security footage and other evidence showed him using counterfeit chips.

He was reportedly caught using $1,500 in fake chips, although state officials declined to prosecute him due to his military standing and previous lack of a criminal record. While its rare for anyone to be demoted while an investigation is ongoing its also unusual for a high-ranking official to be caught up in such a casino cheating caper.

Former Air Force General Eugene Habiger -- who previously served in the same role as deputy commander of the U.S. Strategic Command -- said: "I know of no other case ever of a deputy commander who was relieved for cause."

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