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US General Tipped A ‘Hooker Hill’ Strip Club 81 Percent On His Government Credit Card

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Russ Read Pentagon/Foreign Policy Reporter

A former top Pentagon aide left an 81 percent tip on his official government credit card after allegedly patronizing a strip club in South Korea, according to an inspector general report.

Army Maj. Gen. Ron Lewis accrued $1,121.25 in “personal expenses” at the Candy Bar club, a South Korean gentleman’s club in a neighborhood commonly known as “Hooker Hill” while on official business in South Korea in Apr. 2015. At the time, he was working as Secretary of Defense Carter’s senior military aide.

“MG Lewis’ GTCC (Government Travel Charge Card) statement and receipts showed that, after currency conversion, he charged $1,121,25 in personal expenses at the Candy Bar club to his GTCC, including an 81 percent tip,” said the Department of Defense IG in the report. “MG Lewis had no explanation for why he used his GTCC on April 10, 2015, at the Candy Bar club, stating to us ‘I don’t know in this particular case.'”

“Hooker Hill” was designated off-limits for U.S. military personnel by the local Army garrison commander due to the neighborhood’s known ties to “illicit activities,” including prostitution, drugs, and underage drinking. The IG report noted that the Candy Bar club was off-limits during Lewis’ visit.

Upon returning from his trip to South Korea, Pentagon staff members noticed charges made to “Candy” on Lewis’ government credit card while helping him file a travel voucher. When asked if he had used the card for anything other than official expenses, Lewis told the staffers “no,” and denied making the charges at “Candy.” Lewis later filed and signed a notice to Citibank stating the charges were unauthorized and fraudulent.

Lewis was fired from his role at the Pentagon about one year ago. The DoD IG concluded that Lewis violated the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) by providing a false official statement, misusing a government charge card and engaged in conduct “unbecoming an officer and a gentleman.” It recommended that the Secretary of the Army “take appropriate action.”

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