Skip to comments.Army recruitment fraud bilked taxpayers of tens of millions of dollars
Posted on 02/04/2014 6:01:12 PM PST by Jet Jaguar
WASHINGTON The Army is conducting an investigation into large-scale fraud tied to an Army recruitment program, Sen. Claire McCaskill, the head of the Senate Subcommittee on Financial and Contracting Oversight, disclosed Monday, a day before she held a hearing on the scandal.
Investigators have found that $29 million in taxpayer money has been lost to fraud, but that number could increase to nearly $100 million by the time the probe is over, Maj. Gen. David Quantock, the Commanding General of U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, told lawmakers at the hearing Tuesday.
The Recruiting Assistance Program began in 2005 at a time when the Army National Guard was struggling to meet its recruitment goals as violence in Iraq escalated. The program was created to provide financial incentives to National Guard members not on active duty, retirees and other civilians to act as informal recruiters by encouraging family, friends and other acquaintances to join the National Guard.
These so-called recruiting assistants would refer potential enlistees to an Army recruiter, and if the person signed up, the recruiting assistant received a $2,000 to $7,500 reward. Similar programs were later adopted by the Army Reserve and the active duty Army to boost their recruitment numbers.
The program appeared to be effective. The Guard began meeting recruitment goals, and during the years that the RAP was in place, almost 40 percent of Army Guard recruits enlisted through the program.
However, it was later revealed that Army recruiters, recruiting assistants and other Army personnel were claiming to have recruited people that were already going to enlist or had already enlisted.
There were cases where school principals would supply personally identifiable information about their students who were enlisting, in order to claim false credit for recruiting them and collect the bonus, according to Quantock. Some recruiters were involved in kickback schemes where they would claim that a recruit who had enlisted was referred to them by a recruiting assistant; the recruiter would then split the bonus money with someone claiming to be the recruiting assistant.
The first indication that something was amiss came in 2007 when Docupak, the contractor administering the Guard program, reported about a dozen cases of potential fraud to the Army Criminal Investigative Division. It took four years for the Army to realize that the fraud was a widespread problem because a relatively small number of fraud cases were uncovered until 2010 when the number expanded, Quantock told lawmakers.
After the probe widened in 2011 and Army investigations discovered many instances of fraud, Secretary of the Army John McHugh in February 2012 terminated the programs, according to Army spokesman George Wright. McHugh also directed a comprehensive investigation by multiple Army investigative agencies to determine the scope of the problem and identify the people involved.
In 2011, Army investigators determined that more than 1,200 Army recruiters were suspected of fraud, as well as more than 2,000 recruiter assistants. All 106,364 individuals who received money from RAP will be investigated by the Army by the time the probe is finished in 2016, according to Lt. Gen. William Grisoli, the Director of the Army Staff.
While these combined efforts are ongoing, the results have confirmed a substantial number of cases of fraud and program abuse. These cases will be handled through criminal, Uniform Code of Military Justice or administrative procedures as warranted, Wright said in an email.
Some peopled reaped huge amounts of money from their fraudulent schemes. Five individuals illegally collected nearly $1 million combined, according to Quantock.
Thus far, 104 criminal cases have been adjudicated and 16 people have been imprisoned. No senior leaders have been jailed or lost any of their benefits, according to Quantock. One senior National Guard leader who fraudulently received $7,500 was not prosecuted because his case would have exceeded the statute of limitations by the time it would have gone to trial.
The Army will try to recoup as much taxpayer money as possible, Grisoli said.
Enlisted recruiters arent the only ones suspected of wrongdoing. More than 200 officers are under investigation, including two generals, dozens of colonels, and more than 100 junior officers, according to the subcommittee.
We need to hold our senior leaders accountable; more accountable than anyone else, Quantock said.
Active Duty ping.
I know that most states are too damn cheap and would maintain only token militias, but that's their problem.
Disband the National Guard and push the responsibility back on the states. That's one way we could make a bit of a dent in the national debt.
I found your profile page to be most interesting and informative.
God loves a warrior!
You can't maintain a fighting force like that.
The history of the National Guard is one of slow assimilation by the feds away from the states.
The states are happy because they don't have to pay to support a real militia. The feds are happy because they get a whole bunch more recruits that they don't have to provide full pay.
But this seems to be a violation of our federalist system at least in spirit if not in actual fact.
A huge part of our fighting force is the National Guard, some of the most famous fighting forces in our history, famous divisions that you have heard of, two of our Green Beret units are National Guard, Armor, Artillery, Infantry, Paratroopers, NBC units, Aviation, the full spectrum, the Army can’t fight major wars without the Guard.
By the way, many states do have militias.
You are in California, here is yours, you have both land and naval units.
The California State Military Reserve (CSMR) is the state defense force of California, and one of three branches of the Active Militia of the State.
OMG, a certain % of every population has low moral ethics allowing them to take false advantage of government programs handing out cash!!!! who’d a thunk it could happen??? /sarc
We must realize that 29 million was spent in all likelihood and stimulated the economy. Congress is just upset the money did not go to a crony.
I do not sweat the small stuff. It is just the cost of doing business in DC.
I wonder when McCaskill has ever “blown the cover” on farm subsidies being paid to people are not actually farming, some who do not live at, work on, or have anything to do with a farm.
Too many things are being federalized IMHO. The federalization of the state militias into the National Guard has been a long, slow process similar to what has happened with the social safety net, education, health, etc.
States want low taxes so they can lure in businesses away from other states. They want everyone to be paying the same high income taxes so that they can put up their hands and say "Nothing we can do about that."
Meanwhile the USA morphs into Sweden, or worse, China.
I know that fire fighting state militias would not even have been able to rise to the ability of ‘cannon fodder’ if the Soviets had moved against the West.
The National Guard fleshes out the tiny active military with high quality troops, fully trained, fully operational war fighters, some superior to their active duty counterparts.
The Air National Guard used to be considered the finest pilots in the world and would regularly beat their younger, less experienced, better equipped active counterparts, National Guard Armor units used to beat their active duty counterparts, (active duty tankers were often young men doing a single hitch, facing ex active duty tankers that had loved it so much that they have been serving together as a crew for 10 and 15 years in the Guard).
You have seen how the active military was too small to have fought the small wars since 2001, without the Guard.
The Guard has to train extensively with the active duty as regular soldiers and be equipped the same, go to the same schools as the active, they have to be as interchangeable as possible, they have to train with foreign troops like NATO.
You can’t maintain the fighting machine we need, unless you train them, equip them, and maintain them for high speed modern warfare, the days of a man showing up with a horse, a hat, a rifle and his skinning knife, and being able to defeat (or even get noticed by) 21st century Chinese Marines in modern combat, are long, long, gone.
luckly there is HALO