Former Army Assistant Inspector General Charged With Fraud And Theft Of U.S. Army Officers Identities
James Robert Jones, 42, of Woodlawn, Tennessee was indicted by a federal grand jury today in connection with a scheme to obtain fraudulent bank loans using the stolen identities of active duty and deployed U.S. Army officers, announced David Rivera, Acting United States Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.
The indictment charges Jones with aggravated identity theft, bank fraud, and making a false statement to a financial institution.
“This office continues to place a high priority on identity theft crimes,” said Acting United States Attorney David Rivera. “This defendant abused a position of trust and used his position to specifically target those who serve our country, including certain officers who were deployed overseas when he stole their identities. We will seek to hold him accountable for these crimes and for his unlawful attempts to cover them up.”
The indictment alleges that Jones, who was an Assistant Inspector General with the U.S. Army Office of Inspector General at Fort Campbell, abused his position to obtain personal identifying information, including Social Security numbers and dates of birth, of active duty U.S. Army officers, including officers who were deployed to Afghanistan. The indictment also charges Jones fraudulently obtained the personal identifying information of an enlisted soldier who had been killed in combat in Afghanistan and used the personal identifying information of the U.S. Army officers to apply for loans in the officers’ names and successfully obtained fraudulent loans from two financial institutions.
According to the indictment, when confronted by investigators, Jones attempted to conceal his role in this scheme by falsely accusing a deceased U.S. Army officer of planning the scheme. The indictment further alleges that Jones asked a colleague to delete information on his work computer in an effort to impede the ongoing investigation. In connection with this conduct, Jones is charged with obstructing justice and making false statements to investigators.
“The Secret Service remains committed to fighting this type of financial fraud by pursuing individuals who obtain fraudulent loans using stolen identities, especially when the identities belong to members of our armed services,” said Todd Hudson, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service - Nashville Field Office. “The indictment announced today illustrates how the combined efforts of the Secret Service and our military law enforcement partners help to protect our financial institutions from fraud.”
If convicted, Jones faces up to 30 years in prison for the counts of bank fraud and making a false statement to a bank, as well as an additional two years for each count of aggravated identity theft. Jones also faces up to 20 years in prison for attempting to destroy records and 5 years for making false statements to investigators.
The case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and the U.S. Army Criminal Investigations Command. The United States is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney William F. Abely.
An indictment is merely an accusation and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.