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.