Former Army Assistant Inspector General Pleads Guilty To Fraud Scheme Targeting Identities Of U.S. Army Officers
James Robert Jones, 43, of Woodlawn, Tennessee pleaded guilty today in connection with a scheme to obtain fraudulent bank loans using the stolen identities of active duty U.S. Army officers, announced David Rivera, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee. At a hearing today before U.S. District Court Judge Aleta A. Trauger, Jones entered a plea of guilty to one count of bank fraud, one count of making a false statement to a bank, one count of making a false statement to federal agents, and one count of obstructing justice.
At his plea hearing, Jones, a former Assistant Inspector General with the U.S. Army Office of Inspector General at Fort Campbell, admitted abusing 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. Jones acknowledged that he used this personal identifying information to apply for loans in the officers’ names, that he obtained loans from two federally-insured financial institutions, and that he used the money from the loans for his own personal benefit. Jones further admitted that he attempted to conceal his scheme by asking a colleague to delete records found on his U.S. Army-issued laptop computer, and by seeking to cast blame for his crimes on a deceased U.S. Army officer, despite the fact that the deceased officer had no involvement in the scheme.
Jones faces up to 30 years in prison for the counts of bank fraud and making a false statement to a bank, up to 20 years in prison for obstructing justice, and up to 5 years in prison for making false statements to investigators. Jones will be sentenced by Judge Trauger on August 11, 2014.
The case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and the U.S. Army Criminal Investigations Command at Fort Campbell. The United States is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney William F. Abely.