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.