FROM: U.S. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT
Thursday, March 12, 2015
Retired National Guard Colonel and Former National Guard Sergeant Plead Guilty in Connection with Recruiting Fraud Scheme
A retired colonel and a former sergeant from the U.S. Army National Guard both pleaded guilty today for their roles in a recruiting fraud scheme that caused approximately $14,000 in losses to the U.S. National Guard Bureau, announced Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
Retired Colonel Isaac Alvarado, 75, and former Sergeant First Class Travis Nau, 41, both of Albuquerque, New Mexico, pleaded guilty today to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of wire fraud before Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen B. Molzen of the District of New Mexico. Sentencing hearings will be scheduled at a later date, and will take place before U.S. District Judge Judith C. Herrera of the District of New Mexico.
According to court documents, in approximately September 2005, the National Guard Bureau created the Guard Recruiting Assistance Program (G-RAP), which was designed to offer monetary incentives to soldiers who recruited others to join the National Guard. Through this program, a participating soldier, known as a recruiting assistant, could receive bonus payments for referring another individual to join the National Guard.
According to the plea agreements entered today, between February 2008 and February 2012, Alvarado served as a recruiting assistant in the G-RAP. During that time, Nau, who is Alvarado’s son-in-law, worked in a National Guard recruiting office and assisted individuals who were interested in joining the military. The defendants admitted that Nau provided Alvarado with the personal identifying information of potential soldiers, including their names and Social Security numbers. Alvarado then used that information to falsely claim that he was responsible for referring the soldiers to join the military, and to fraudulently claim referral bonuses through the G-RAP. In addition, Alvarado and Nau admitted that Nau advised at least two potential soldiers to falsely report that Alvarado had assisted in their recruitment even though he had not. As a result, Alvarado received approximately $12,000 in fraudulent recruiting bonuses.
The case is being investigated by the Fort Bliss Army Criminal Investigation Command. This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Sean F. Mulryne and Heidi Boutros Gesch of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section.