Afghanistan suspect had shaky business dealings

DAN SEWELL DANIEL WAGNER Associated Press Published:

CINCINNATI (AP) -- A trail of questionable financial dealings of boiler room trading and fraud allegations has surfaced about the soldier accused of killing 16 Afghanistan civilians.

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales joined the Army in 2001 after a Florida business venture with a high school football teammate failed, and after working for companies pushing low-quality stocks that drew client complaints of fraud. One of the companies' officers is barred from trading in Ohio. The officer, Michael Patterson, and Bales were socked in 2003 with a $1.5 million arbitration ruling after a couple charged their holdings were decimated.

The financial trail continues to an abandoned home in Washington state.

Bales' former teammate and business partner, Marc Edwards, says he considers Bales a man "of enormous integrity."