Pentagon investigators are looking into allegations of fraud in recruiting programs involving $92 million. The program paid $2,000 rewards to soldiers and civilians that brought in new recruits to Army National Guard and reserve units, The Washington Post
Investigators are examining the actions of more than 1,700 recruiters and assistants and more than $92 million paid out. The amount is about a quarter of the reward money paid in the program.
The investigators have found evidence that recruiters who were not eligible for the bounties worked with assistants to secure and split the money, sometimes using shared bank accounts, the Post reported.
Army Secretary John McHugh ended the programs after learning of the alleged abuse and ordered an investigation of “systemic weaknesses and shortfalls, some of a potentially criminal nature,” the Post reported.
“If additional allegations of criminal conduct are found, the Army will take appropriate action,” Army spokesman George Wright told the Post. “Because of the sensitivity of the criminal investigation, providing any further details or comment would be inappropriate.”
The Recruiting Assistance Programs started in 2005 when the demands of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were taking a toll on service members and recruiting.
Those referring new recruits could receive a bonus of up to $2,000.
The programs paid out a total of $339 million in bonuses over six years. The alleged wrongdoing involved sharing of bank accounts and taking credit for enlistees that were not recruited.
“Recruiters potentially stole the identity of personnel to circumvent controls or many have colluded with recruiting assistants to bypass controls,” auditors told McHugh according to the Post.
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