BACKLASH FROM ARMY’S LARGEST CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION

SOURCE: CBS NEWS

It is the largest criminal investigation in the history of the United States Army — an after shock caused by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Running short of soldiers, the Army National Guard came up with a scheme called the Recruiting Assistance Program which paid a $2,000 bonus to members of the Guard who brought in a new recruit.

A total of 105,000 soldiers got those bonuses, but some of them scammed the system by claiming to bring in recruits they had never met. Eighty soldiers have pled guilty or been convicted, and another 60 remain under indictment. By now most of the big fish have been caught, including some who raked in more than $100,000 in fraudulent bonuses. But as the investigation grinds on into its fourth year a backlash has set in. Some soldiers claim they did nothing illegal and are being made scapegoats for a recruiting program the Army admits was badly mismanaged from the start.

Master Sergeant Jerry Wilson is one of the 105,000 soldiers who fell under investigation. Last year, he walked into Adams County Courthouse in Colorado charged with felony theft for the bonuses he received from the recruiting assistance program.

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