army national guard member indicted for theft of public money
DENVER – Thurman L. Foster, age 43, of Fountain, Colorado, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on June 4, 2013 on sixteen counts of theft of public money, the United States Attorney’s Office and the United States Army, Criminal Investigation Command announced. Foster was ordered by summons to appear on June 26, 2013 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen M. Tafoya for an initial appearance.
In September of 2005, the Army National Guard Bureau, located in Arlington, Virginia, entered into a contract with a company located in Alabaster, Alabama to administer a program called the Guard Recruiting Assistance Program. The Program was designed to offer monetary incentives in the form of recruiting referral bonuses to Army National Guard soldiers, known as Recruiter Assistants (RA), to recruit other individuals to serve in the U.S. Army National Guard. After enrolling online and completing an online training course in recruiting, the RA would establish an online account to record the RA’s recruiting efforts.
If a potential soldier, known as a nominee, signed an enlistment contract, the RA who recruited that nominee would receive a $1,000 payment through direct deposit into a bank account designated by the RA, and another $1,000 if the nominee attended basic training. If the nominee had previously served in the Armed Forces, and thus did not need basic training, the RA would be paid $2,000. The RA was required to obtain a nominee’s personal information directly from that nominee in order to receive the bonus money for that nominee.
According to the indictment, Foster, an Army National Guard solider, who acted as a Recruiter Assistant, did allegedly knowingly steal $22,000 in referral bonuses for a number of nominees from the Guard Recruiting Assistance Program (GRAP), by causing the money to be directly deposited into his bank account despite the fact that he did not personally recruit these nominees.
“This reservist was caught stealing public funds,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. “Thanks to the hard work of the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command, the defendant is now in the process of being held accountable.”
“The Colorado National Guard will support the U.S. Attorney’s Office any way possible,” said Major General H. Michael Edwards, The Adjutant General of Colorado and commander of the Colorado National Guard. “This activity is totally contrary to the values and culture of the Colorado National Guard and will not be tolerated. This should serve as an example for those who would abuse public trust. Due to similar issues with this program, nationwide, the GRAP recruiting programs have been cancelled.”
This case was investigated by the United States Army, Criminal Investigation Command.
The defendant is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Martha A. Paluch.