38-year-old Sergeant First Class Zaunmine O. Duncan of the Texas Army National Guard pled guilty to bribery and fraud. Duncan was part of a scheme that ultimately cost the U.S. National Guard Bureau over $30,000 in losses, according to a press release from the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Duncan was a part of a wide-sweeping scheme that involved 25 U.S. military recruiters and soldiers in San Antonio and Houston, according to the DOJ. The involved individuals apparently obtained bonus checks from submitting fraudulent recruitment referrals.
Court documents obtained by Breitbart Texas state that SFC. Duncan became a National Guard recruiter in 2008.
The Guard Recruiting Assistance Program (G-RAP) offered incentives for soldiers to recruit others to join the Army National Guard, according to an indictment. Whenever a soldier recruited someone, that soldier would receive a bonus in the form of a direct deposit payment into his or her bank account. The individual would then receive subsequent bonuses based on achievements of the recruited soldier.
The DOJ press release stated that Duncan used the name and Social Security numbers of potential soldiers and gave them to recruiting assistants. The information was then used to obtain the recruiting bonuses, even though Duncan and his assistants were not responsible for those individuals joining the National Guard.
“It was the goal of the conspiracy for Duncan to enrich himself unlawfully through corrupt means,” the indictment stated.
The document went on to allege that Duncan was able to successfully carry out the scheme for some time because “as part of his official duties, Duncan obtained, and had access to, the names, dates of birth, addresses, and Social Security numbers of potential soldiers…[he] had a duty not to disclose these personal identifiers for unauthorized purposes.”
Duncan allegedly received about $25,000 as a result of the scheme, which took place from February 2008 through August 2010. The total sum of fraudulently-received bonuses was ultimately split between Duncan and his recruitment assistants.
Duncan is to be sentenced in Houston on August 28. 22 other individuals have also pled guilty to their role in the conspiracy, according to the DOJ, and are also scheduled to be sentenced this summer.
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