Editor's note: Paul Whelan was discharged with bad conduct from the Marines in 2008. An earlier version of this story misstated the type of discharge.
The head of global security for BorgWarner Inc. who has been detained in Russia over allegations of spying was convicted in 2008 for charges related to larceny, according to his Marine Corps record.
Paul Whelan's military service record was released Wednesday by the Marines at the Pentagon, the Associated Press reported. He joined the Marine Corps Reserve in 1994 and moved up the ranks to staff sergeant in 2004. He served tours in Iraq in 2004 and 2006 and was an administrative clerk and administrative chief.
The Michigan native, 48, was discharged with bad conduct in December 2008 for his larceny conviction. Details of the conviction were not disclosed. Whelan's last place of duty was in Miramar, Calif.
BorgWarner spokeswoman Kathy Graham declined to comment Wednesday on whether the supplier conducted a background check prior to Whelan's employment and said the company "does not speak on individual employees."
According to court records in 2013, Whelan testified to working for Kelly Services for 11 years as a corporate security expert. He was working as a senior manager of global security and investigations for the staffing company for three years, supervising 10 employees, he testified.
His role consisted of global security management and investigations that were related to theft, fraud, sexual harassment and workplace violence. Before specializing in global security, Whelan first was a project manager in information technology for the company.
He also stated in his testimony that he had a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and a master's degree in business administration. Details on where he attained his degrees were not released.
Additionally, he testified that he was a deputy sheriff and police officer from 1988 to 2000, when he worked for the Chelsea Police Department and the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office, both located in southeastern Michigan.
Whelan's twin brother, David Whelan, told Automotive News on Wednesday in an email that his brother is "a kind brother, a generous uncle, and loyal to his family and friends." He also said the reason his brother was in Russia was because he was "being himself, a person who likes to travel — for work and pleasure — and who had a friend ask him to help out."
Whelan could face up to 20 years in prison in Russia if found guilty for spying.