Former Government Contractor Sentenced to 60 Months for His Participation in Bribery Conspiracy

Friday, July 28, 2017

A former owner of a government contracting company that serviced the Military Sealift Command (MSC) was sentenced to 60 months in prison, and to pay a $15,000 fine, for his participation in a bribery conspiracy from approximately 1999 to 2014, in which he provided a contracting official at MSC with almost $3 million in bribes.  Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente of the Eastern District of Virginia made the announcement.

U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen today sentenced Joseph P. Allen, 56, of Panama City, Florida, following his guilty plea on April 19, to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery.

According to the statement of facts included in Allen’s guilty plea, Allen conspired with a government contracting official, Scott B. Miserendino, Sr., 58, formerly of Stafford, Virginia, to use Miserendino’s position at MSC to enrich themselves through bribery.  Specifically, beginning in about 1999, Miserendino used his position and influence at MSC to facilitate and expand Allen’s company’s commission agreement with a third-party telecommunications company that sold maritime satellite services to MSC.  Unknown to MSC or the telecommunications company, throughout the scheme, Allen paid half of the commissions he received from that telecommunications company to Miserendino as bribes.

For his role in the scheme, Miserendino was charged in a five-count indictment on May 4, with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and honest services mail fraud, one count of bribery, and three counts of honest services mail fraud.  His trial is currently scheduled for October 31, before U.S. District Court Judge Rebecca Beach Smith.  The charges and allegations against Miserendino contained in the indictment are merely accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The Norfolk offices of the FBI, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service investigated the case.  Trial Attorneys Sean F. Mulryne and Molly Gaston of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen W. Haynie of the Eastern District of Virginia are prosecuting the case.

Army National Guard Soldier Pleads Guilty in Connection with Bribery and Fraud Scheme

To Date, 24 Individuals Have Pleaded Guilty in Ongoing Corruption Investigation.

A soldier of the U.S. Army National Guard pleaded guilty today for his role in a wide-ranging corruption scheme involving fraudulent recruiting bonuses from the Army National Guard Bureau.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Robert Pitman for the Western District of Texas made the announcement.
Sergeant First Class Eduardo Ruesga-Larracilla, 41, of San Antonio, Texas, pleaded guilty today to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and wire fraud, and one count of bribery of a public official.
The case against Ruesga arises from an investigation that has led to charges against 26 individuals, 24 of whom have pleaded guilty.
According to court documents, in approximately September 2005, the National Guard Bureau entered into a contract with Document and Packaging Broker Inc. (Docupak) to administer the Guard Recruiting Assistance Program (G-RAP).    The G-RAP was a recruiting program that offered monetary incentives to soldiers of the Army National Guard who referred others to join the National Guard.    Through this program, a participating soldier could receive up to $2,000 in bonus payments for a referral.    Based on certain milestones achieved by the referred soldier, a participating soldier would receive payment through direct deposit into the participating soldier’s designated bank account.    To participate in the program, soldiers were required to create online recruiting assistant accounts.
Ruesga admitted that between approximately January 2010 and approximately October 2011, he conspired with a recruiter and paid him for the personal information of potential Army National Guard soldiers.    Ruesga further admitted that, in order to obtain fraudulent bonuses, he used the personal information for these potential soldiers fraudulently to claim that he was responsible for referring these soldiers for enlistment in the National Guard.
Ruesga is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 9, 2014 before U.S. District Judge Orlando L. Garcia in San Antonio, Texas.
This case is being investigated by the San Antonio Fraud Resident Agency of the Army Criminal Investigation Command’s Major Procurement Fraud Unit.    The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Sean F. Mulryne, Heidi Boutros Gesch, and Mark J. Cipolletti of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section.

Texas Army National Guard Soldier Pleads Guilty to Defrauding the U.S.

To Date, 23 Individuals Have Pleaded Guilty in Ongoing Corruption Investigation

A soldier in the Texas National Guard pleaded guilty today for his role in a bribery and fraud scheme that caused more than $30,000 in losses to the U.S. National Guard Bureau, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General David A. O’Neil of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson of the Southern District of Texas.

Sergeant First Class Zaunmine O. Duncan, 38, formerly of Austin, Texas, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy, one count of bribery and one count of aggravated identity theft.  The case against Duncan arises from an investigation involving allegations that former and current military recruiters and U.S. soldiers in the San Antonio and Houston areas engaged in a wide-ranging corruption scheme to illegally obtain fraudulent recruiting bonuses.   To date, the investigation has led to charges against 25 individuals, 23 of whom have pleaded guilty.

According to court documents, in approximately September 2005, the National Guard Bureau entered into a contract with Document and Packaging Broker Inc. (Docupak), to administer the Guard Recruiting Assistance Program (G-RAP).   The G-RAP was a recruiting program that offered monetary incentives to soldiers of the Army National Guard who referred others to join the Army National Guard.   Through this program, a participating soldier could receive bonus payments for referring another individual to join the Army National Guard.   Based on certain milestones achieved by the referred soldier, a participating soldier would receive payment through direct deposit into the participating soldier’s designated bank account.   To participate in the program, soldiers were required to create online recruiting assistant accounts.

Duncan admitted that between approximately February 2008 and August 2010, while he was a recruiter for the National Guard, he obtained the names and Social Security numbers of potential soldiers and provided them to recruiting assistants, including co-conspirators Elisha Ceja, Annika Chambers, Kimberly Hartgraves and Lashae Hawkins, so that these recruiting assistants could use the information to obtain fraudulent recruiting bonuses by falsely claiming that they were responsible for referring these potential soldiers to join the Army National Guard, when they were not.   In exchange for the information, Duncan admitted that he personally received a total of at least approximately $24,500 in payments from Ceja, Chambers, Hartgraves and Hawkins.

Duncan is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 28, 2014, before U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal in Houston.

Co-conspirators Ceja, Chambers, Hartgraves and Hawkins have all pleaded guilty to conspiracy and bribery in connection to this scheme.   Hartgraves is scheduled to be sentenced on June 24, 2014.   Ceja, Chambers and Hawkins are each scheduled to be sentenced on June 26, 2014.   All of these sentencing hearings are set before U.S. District Judge Rosenthal in Houston.

The cases are being investigated by special agents from the San Antonio Fraud Resident Agency of Army CID’s Major Procurement Fraud Unit.   This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Sean F. Mulryne, Heidi Boutros Gesch and Mark J. Cipolletti of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney John Pearson of the Southern District of Texas.

Former Army National Guard Soldier Pleads Guilty in Connection with Bribery and Fraud Scheme to Defraud the U.S. Army National Guard Bureau

A former soldier of the U.S. Army National Guard has pleaded guilty for his role in a bribery and fraud scheme that caused approximately $70,000 in losses to the U.S. Army National Guard Bureau, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General David A. O’Neil of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson of the Southern District of Texas.
Former Sergeant First Class Michael Rambaran, 51, of Pearland, Texas, pleaded guilty today to one count of conspiracy, one count of bribery and one count of aggravated identity theft.   Sentencing is scheduled for June 24, 2014 before U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal in Houston.
The case arises from an investigation involving allegations that former and current military recruiters and U.S. soldiers in the San Antonio and Houston areas engaged in a wide-ranging corruption scheme to illegally obtain fraudulent recruiting bonuses.   To date, the investigation has led to charges against 25 individuals, 22 of whom have pleaded guilty.
According to court documents, in approximately September 2005, the National Guard Bureau entered into a contract with Document and Packaging Broker Inc. (Docupak) to administer the Guard Recruiting Assistance Program (G-RAP).   The G-RAP was a recruiting program that offered monetary incentives to Army National Guard soldiers who referred others to join the Army National Guard.   Through this program, a participating soldier could receive bonus payments for referring another individual to join the Army National Guard.   Based on certain milestones achieved by the referred soldier, a participating soldier would receive payment through direct deposit into the participating soldier’s designated bank account.   To participate in the program, soldiers were required to create online recruiting assistant accounts.
Rambaran admitted that between approximately February 2008 and August 2011, while he was a recruiter for the National Guard, he obtained the names and Social Security numbers of potential soldiers and provided them to recruiting assistants so that they could use the information to obtain fraudulent recruiting referral bonuses by falsely claiming that they were responsible for referring those potential soldiers to join the Army National Guard, when in fact they were not.   In exchange for the information, Rambaran admitted that he personally received a total of approximately $29,000 in payments from the recruiting assistants.
Co-conspirators  Edia Antoine, Ernest A. Millien III and Melanie Moraida pleaded guilty to conspiracy and bribery in connection to this scheme.   Antoine and Millien are each scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 24, 2014.   Moraida is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 26, 2014.   All of these sentencing hearings are set before U.S. District Judge Rosenthal in Houston.
Another alleged co-conspirator, Christopher Renfro, who was indicted on Aug. 7, 2013, remains charged with two counts of wire fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft.   Trial is currently scheduled for June 16, 2014, before U.S. District Judge Rosenthal in Houston.   An indictment is only an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The cases are being investigated by special agents from the San Antonio Fraud Resident Agency of Army CID’s Major Procurement Fraud Unit.   This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Sean F. Mulryne, Heidi Boutros Gesch and Mark J. Cipolletti of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney John Pearson of the Southern District of Texas.

Army National Guard Soldier Pleads Guilty to Role in Scheme to Defraud U.S. Army National Guard Bureau

A U.S. Army National Guard soldier pleaded guilty for her role in a bribery and fraud scheme that caused $30,000 in losses to the U.S. Army National Guard Bureau.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson of the Southern District of Texas made the announcement.

Specialist Danielle Applin, 27, of Harker Heights, Texas, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of bribery.  The case against Applin arises from an investigation involving allegations that former and current military recruiters and U.S. soldiers in the San Antonio and Houston areas engaged in a wide-ranging corruption scheme to illegally obtain fraudulent recruiting bonuses.  To date, the investigation has led to charges against 27 individuals, 20 of whom have pleaded guilty.

According to court documents filed in the case, in approximately September 2005, the National Guard Bureau entered into a contract with Document and Packaging Broker Inc. (Docupak) to administer the Guard Recruiting Assistance Program (G-RAP).  The G-RAP was a recruiting program that offered monetary incentives to soldiers of the Army National Guard who referred others to join the Army National Guard.  Through this program, a participating soldier could receive bonus payments for referring another individual to join the Army National Guard.  Based on certain milestones achieved by the referred soldier, a participating soldier would receive payment through direct deposit into the participating soldier’s designated bank account.  To participate in the program, soldiers were required to create online recruiting assistant accounts.

Applin admitted that she paid an Army National Guard recruiter for the names and Social Security numbers of potential Army National Guard soldiers.  Applin further admitted that she used the personal identifying information for these potential soldiers to claim that she was responsible for referring these potential soldiers to join the Army National Guard, when in fact she had not referred them.  As a result of these fraudulent representations, Applin collected approximately $13,000 in fraudulent bonuses.

The charge of bribery carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the pecuniary gain or loss.  The charge of conspiracy carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the pecuniary gain or loss.

Applin is scheduled to be sentenced before U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal in Houston on June 11, 2014.

This case is being investigated by the San Antonio Fraud Resident Agency of Army Criminal Investigation Command’s Major Procurement Fraud Unit.  The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Sean F. Mulryne, Heidi Boutros Gesch, and Mark J. Cipolletti of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney John Pearson of the Southern District of Texas.

Army National Guard Colonel and Sergeant Indicted for Allegedly Defrauding Recruiting Assistance Program

A retired colonel and a sergeant in the Army National Guard have been charged in a nine-count indictment in Albuquerque, N.M., for allegedly defrauding the National Guard Bureau and its contractor of approximately $12,000 by fraudulently obtaining recruiting bonuses, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
Retired Colonel Isaac Alvarado, 74, of Albuquerque, N.M. was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, four counts of wire fraud and four counts of aggravated identity theft in an indictment that was filed this week in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico.    Sergeant First Class Travis Nau, 40, also of Albuquerque, N.M., was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, three counts of wire fraud and three counts of aggravated identity theft.
According to court documents, in approximately September 2005, the National Guard Bureau entered into a contract with Document and Packaging Broker Inc. to administer the Guard Recruiting Assistance Program (G-RAP).    The G-RAP was a recruiting program that was designed to offer monetary incentives to soldiers of the Army National Guard who referred others to join the Army National Guard.    Through this program, a participating soldier could receive bonus payments for referring another individual to join.    Based on certain milestones achieved by the referred soldier, a participating soldier would receive payment through direct deposit into the participating soldier’s designated bank account.    To participate in the program, soldiers were required to create online recruiting assistant accounts.    The rules prohibited Army National Guard recruiters from participating in the G-RAP.
According to court documents, between approximately November 2007 and February 2012, Alvarado participated as a recruiting assistant in the G-RAP.    Nau, who worked in a recruiting office and is Alvarado’s son-in-law, allegedly provided Alvarado with the names and Social Security numbers of potential soldiers.    This enabled Alvarado to claim that he was responsible for referring these potential soldiers to join the military, when in fact he did not recruit any of them.    In addition, Nau advised at least two potential soldiers to falsely report that Alvarado had assisted in their recruitment even though he had not.    As a result, Alvarado allegedly received a total of approximately $12,000 in fraudulent recruiting bonuses.
An indictment is merely a charge and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
If convicted, the defendants face up to five years in prison on the conspiracy count.    Each wire fraud count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.    Each count of aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory two-year sentence in prison.    Each charged count carries a maximum fine of up to $250,000, or twice the gross gain.
The case is being investigated by special agents from the Fort Bliss Army Criminal Investigation Command.    The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Sean F. Mulryne, Mark J. Cipolletti and Heidi Boutros Gesch of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section.

Two Army National Guard Soldiers Plead Guilty to Schemes to Defraud U.s. Army National Guard Bureau

Two current U.S. Army National Guard soldiers have pleaded guilty for their role in bribery and fraud schemes that caused a total of at least $70,000 in losses to the U.S. Army National Guard Bureau.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson of the Southern District of Texas made the announcement.

Sergeant Annika Chambers, 28, of Houston, pleaded guilty today to one count of conspiracy and one count of bribery. Specialist Elisha Ceja, 27, of Barboursville, W.V., previously pleaded guilty to the same charge on Oct. 1, 2013. The cases against both defendants arise from an investigation involving allegations that former and current military recruiters and U.S. soldiers in the San Antonio and Houston areas engaged in a wide-ranging corruption scheme to illegally obtain fraudulent recruiting bonuses.  To date, the investigation has led to charges against 25 individuals, 17 of whom have pleaded guilty.

According to court documents filed in both cases, in approximately September 2005, the National Guard Bureau entered into a contract with Document and Packaging Broker, Inc. (Docupak) to administer the Guard Recruiting Assistance Program (G-RAP).  The G-RAP was a recruiting program that offered monetary incentives to soldiers of the Army National Guard who referred others to join the Army National Guard.  Through this program, a participating soldier could receive up to $3,000 in bonus payments for referring another individual to join.  Based on certain milestones achieved by the referred soldier, a participating soldier would receive payment through direct deposit into the participating soldier’s designated bank account.  To participate in the program, soldiers were required to create online recruiting assistant accounts.

Ceja and Chambers both admitted that they paid Army National Guard recruiters for the names and Social Security numbers of potential Army National Guard soldiers.  They further admitted that they used the personal identifying information for these potential soldiers to falsely claim that they were responsible for referring the potential soldiers to join the Army National Guard.

As a result of these fraudulent representations, Ceja collected approximately $12,000 in fraudulent bonuses, and Chambers collected approximately $17,000 in fraudulent bonuses.  The charge of bribery carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the pecuniary gain or loss.  The charge of conspiracy carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the pecuniary gain or loss.

Ceja and Chambers are scheduled to be sentenced before U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal in Houston on Dec. 19, 2013, and March 11, 2013, respectively.

These cases are being investigated by Special Agents from the San Antonio Fraud Resident Agency of Army Criminal Investigation Command’s Major Procurement Fraud Unit. The cases are being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Sean F. Mulryne, Mark J. Cipolletti, and Heidi Boutros Gesch of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney John Pearson of the Southern District of Texas.

Former Army National Guard Soldier Sentenced to 57 Months in Prison for Lead Role in Fraudulent Military Recruiting Referral Bonus Scheme

A former member of the U.S. Army National Guard was sentenced today to serve 57 months in prison for leading a conspiracy to obtain approximately $244,000 in fraudulent recruiting referral bonuses from various U.S. military components and their contractor, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

Former U.S. Army National Guard Specialist Xavier Aves, 42, of San Antonio, was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Fred Biery in the Western District of Texas.  In addition to his prison term, Chief Judge Biery sentenced Aves to serve three years of supervised release and ordered Aves to pay $244,000 in restitution, jointly and severally with co-conspirators.

On Sept. 16, 2011, a grand jury in the Western District of Texas returned a 41-count indictment against Aves and five co-defendants, in which Aves was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, 30 counts of wire fraud and 10 counts of aggravated identity theft.

On Feb. 3, 2012, Aves pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

The case against Aves and his co-defendants arose from an investigation concerning allegations that former and current soldiers and military and civilian contract recruiters in the San Antonio area engaged in a wide-ranging scheme to obtain fraudulent recruiting referral bonuses.  To date, 11 individuals have been charged, 10 of whom have pleaded guilty and been sentenced.  The investigation is ongoing.

According to court documents, between 2005 and 2008, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Army Reserves and the National Guard Bureau entered into contracts with Document and Packaging Broker Inc. to administer recruiting bonus programs designed to offer monetary incentives to soldiers who referred others to serve in the U.S. military.  In addition, the Army managed its own recruiting bonus programs, which offered referral bonuses to soldiers who referred other individuals to serve in the Army or Army Reserves after registering online as recruiting assistants (RA) or sponsors.

Through these recruiting programs, a participating soldier could receive up to $2,000 in bonus payments for every person he referred to join the U.S. military.  Based on certain milestones achieved by the referred soldier, a participating soldier would receive the recruiting bonus payments in the form of direct deposits and pre-paid debit card payments.

According to court documents, between February 2006 and February 2011, Xavier Aves, Christopher Castro, Grant Bibb, Paul Escobar, Richard Garcia, Ernest Gonzales and others paid military recruiters, including Jesus Torres-Alvarez, for the names and social security numbers of potential soldiers.  Aves, Castro, Bibb, Escobar, Garcia, Gonzales and others used the information they obtained from recruiters to claim credit in their online RA and sponsor accounts for referring certain new soldiers to join the military, when in fact they did not refer those individuals.

Aves orchestrated the scheme by serving as a key intermediary between the recruiters and the participating RAs.  Aves arranged for the money to be split among his co-conspirators and directed a portion of the proceeds to be wired to his and his girlfriend’s personal bank accounts.

As a result of the fraudulent referrals, Aves and his co-conspirators received a total of approximately $244,000 in fraudulent recruiting bonuses.

The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Edward J. Loya Jr., Brian A. Lichter, Mark J. Cipolletti and Sean F. Mulryne of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section.  The case is being investigated by agents from the San Antonio Fraud Resident Agency of the Major Procurement Fraud Unit, U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division.

Army National Guard Captain Charged for Alleged Role in Bribery and Wire Fraud Scheme and Two Former Soldiers Sentenced for Their Roles in a Related Scheme

To Date, 11 Individuals Have Been Charged in Ongoing Corruption Investigation

A Texas Army National Guard captain has been charged for his alleged role in a bribery and wire fraud scheme and two former soldiers in the Texas Army National Guard were sentenced for their roles in a separate scheme to defraud the National Guard Bureau and its contractor, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

These cases arose from an investigation concerning allegations that former and current soldiers and military and civilian contract recruiters in the San Antonio and Houston areas engaged in a wide-ranging scheme to obtain fraudulent recruiting referral bonuses.  To date, 11 people have been charged in this ongoing investigation, including yesterday’s 17-count indictment of Fabian Barrera, 46, of Schertz, Texas, a Captain in the Army National Guard accused of personally obtaining more than $185,500 in fraudulent recruiting bonuses.  Barrera made his initial appearance on May 16, 2013, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jillyn K. Schulze.  The public is reminded that an indictment is merely a charge and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

According to court documents, in approximately September 2005, the National Guard Bureau entered into a contract with Document and Packaging Broker, Inc., to administer the Guard Recruiting Assistance Program (G-RAP), which was designed to offer monetary incentives to soldiers who referred others to join the U.S. military.  To participate in the G-RAP, an eligible soldier needed to establish an online recruiting assistant (RA) account.  Through these recruiting programs, a participating soldier could receive up to $3,000 in bonus payments for every person he or she referred to serve in the U.S. military.

Barrera, an RA in the G-RAP between approximately December 2005 and February 2012, is alleged to have paid Army National Guard recruiters for the names and Social Security numbers of potential soldiers and used this information to claim that he was responsible for referring dozens of potential soldiers to join the military, though he allegedly did not recruit any of those people.  As a result, Barrera is accused of receiving more than approximately $185,000 in fraudulent recruiting bonuses, and the indictment alleges that Barrera paid various recruiters in the form of checks and cash payments.

Former Staff Sergeant Jermaine Britt, 39, of Richmond, Texas, was sentenced today to 30 months in prison by Chief U.S. District Judge Biery for his role in obtaining $86,500 in fraudulent bonus payments. According to court documents, Britt served as a recruiter in the Houston area from approximately November 2006 until November 2012. He conspired with former Specialist Stephanie Heller, 37, of Wharton, Texas, who was an RA in the G-RAP and claimed approximately $44,500 in fraudulent bonuses through her account.  Heller made approximately $19,750 in bribe payments to Britt, who served as a recruiter in the Houston area from approximately November 2006 until November 2012. Heller also made a $1,000 bribe payment to another recruiter in exchange for Britt and that recruiter providing the personal information of potential soldiers.  In addition to accepting bribes from Heller, Britt worked with at least two other RAs to claim fraudulent bonus payments and accepted a total of $23,750 in bribe payments in exchange for providing the personal information of potential soldiers.

Britt also admitted that he obstructed justice by coaching Heller to make false statements to federal agents.  In September of 2012, Heller recorded two conversations with Britt.  In those conversations, Britt told Heller how she could provide false stories to federal agents to innocently explain incriminating conduct, such as large cash withdrawals from her bank account, her receipt of emails from Britt in which Britt provided the personal identifiers of potential soldiers, and her use of Britt’s military computer to make referrals under her RA account.

Britt pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery and wire fraud, bribery, and obstruction of justice on Nov. 9, 2012. Heller pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery and wire fraud and bribery on Oct. 4, 2012. Heller was also sentenced today to five years’ probation, and her cooperation was instrumental in the case against Britt.

These cases are being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Edward J. Loya Jr., Brian A. Lichter, and Sean F. Mulryne of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section.  These cases are being investigated by agents from the San Antonio Fraud Resident Agency of the Major Procurement Fraud Unit, U.S. Army CID, and from the San Antonio Field Office of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.