Friday, October 15, 2010

Officers Implicated - "California National Guard bonus program riddled with corruption"- $$$Millions

Like other states' National Guards California's is heavily financed by federal taxpayers. According to a Guard auditor turned federal whistleblower, as much as $100 million has gone to soldiers who didn't qualify for the incentives.

Early in the audit, he said, he became concerned that officers implicated as recipients or enablers of improper payments might attempt to interfere with his work. So for the first time in his career, Clark became a whistle-blower. He secretly contacted the Internal Revenue Service and FBI.

I don't like grifters, and I'm disgusted — at times, ashamed — to wear the same uniform as those who steal taxpayer funds or protect thieves. - Capt. Ronald S. Clark, a federal auditor who oversees state Guard spending and who had been a former FBI agent and U.S. Secret Service officer investigating white-collar crime for years.

Documents show that improper student loan payments were overlooked or ignored by recruiters and officers up the chain of command. Excluding $43 million in improper payments recently halted by Jaffe's replacements, Clark estimated that $100 million had been misspent.
Most student loan repayments, documents show, were drawn from money designated for combat vets, but a large portion of funds went to Guard members who hadn't served at war. Captains and majors were among those whom auditors believe improperly benefited.
Documents obtained by the Modesto Bee describe falsified and shredded records as well as five-figure favors that Clark called "corruption on an astonishing scale." There is a $10,000 cap for the Guard's student loan repayment program. Guard documents revealed the following officers among recipients of the highest improper payments:
++ Capt. Eric Goldie, an attorney currently deployed in Iraq, received $40,500 in loan repayments in 2008, although his required contract wasn't on file, according to Guard documents, and he was ineligible due to his rank.
++ Capt. Bruce Corum, a chiropractor who joined the Guard in 2002, received $83,000 over one seven-week period in 2008, including $63,000 for student loans taken out too long ago to qualify for repayment. As an officer commissioned before Oct. 28, 2004, by law Corum was entirely ineligible for the program.
++ Capt. Teressa Vaughn, a chaplain candidate, worked as a recruiter. She received student loan repayments of $51,800, and a $30,000 bonus for which she was ineligible for lack of proper job experience. Vaughn said she was not authorized to comment.
++ Capt. Robert Couture, who holds top-secret clearance, received more than the maximum benefit allowed, and he didn't qualify for the windfall due to his rank.
Auditors found that of 62 individuals who received $1.2 million in loan repayments and bonuses over the last several years at least 52 appeared to have benefited improperly. More on this corruption.

These allegations are shocking and I support a swift and thorough investigation by federal officials. - Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif source

Submarines are always silent and strange.



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