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Army Recruiter Pleads Guilty to Stealing Public Money

Lakeland, Florida – On October 18, 2012 a former Army staff sergeant and recruiter pled guilty to stealing the public's money after creating false accounts. These false accounts were created to deposit payments from the Guard Recruiter Program (GRAP) directly into his personal account.

The 37-year-old Lakeland man faces the maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison, and he will be forced to hand over the $32,000 he stole to the United States Government.

The court records show that the defendant worked as a staff sergeant and a recruiter for the Florida Army National Guard, during which time he used the names of other National Guard members without their consent to create fraudulent GRAP accounts from 2008 to 2010.

GRAP is the program that was created to serve as an incentive for soldiers to sign up and serve as recruiter assistants. Once a soldier was enrolled, he or she would promote the benefits of being in the service and would therefore recruit potential soldiers and officers in exchange for a cash incentive.

The recruiter assistants were to receive a $1,000 payment if they got a "nominee" to enlist, and if that nominee was a prior enlisted military member, then their payment would be $2,000. Once the recruit completed his or her basic training, the recruiter assistant would receive an additional $1,000 payment.

According to the court documents, the National Guard did not allow actual recruiters like the defendant to benefit from the GRAP program due to the fact that he was already receiving a government salary for his recruitment efforts.

The defendant proceeded to create false recruitment assistant accounts in the names of other people and allegedly took the recruitment assistant payments from each of those accounts and transferred the money into his personal account. According to officials, the sentencing date has not been set.

Ayo & Iken, PLC provides criminal defense representation to the residents of Lakeland and all throughout Polk County. The firm handles various types of theft and white collar crimes including those that involve forgery, embezzlement, identity theft, and white collar theft among others. With over 35 years of collective experience, we are completely prepared to investigate the facts of your case in an effort to build a strong defense on your behalf. If you are facing criminal charges in Polk County, contact us today to schedule your confidential consultation with one of our attorneys.

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