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$100M Fraud Uncovered at California National Guard

Superiors apparently ignored missing, fabricated documents
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 11, 2010 10:25 AM CDT
$100M Fraud Uncovered at California National Guard
Army National Guard Specialist Melendez patrols the Ft. Point area under the Golden Gate Bridge August 12, 2002 in San Francisco, California.   (Getty Images)

In an exclusive investigative report, the Sacramento Bee exposes massive fraud at the California Army National Guard to the tune of $100 million in improper bonuses and recruiting incentives. From 1986 to 2009, Master Sgt. Toni Jaffe was in charge of approving the student loan repayments and bonuses the Guard uses to recruit new members. After her retirement, scores of errors and omissions in her work were uncovered, leading a Guard auditor to blow the whistle to the federal government. The Department of Justice, FBI, IRS, and Army Criminal Investigation Division launched a criminal probe in August.

Jaffe allegedly approved payments to hundreds of soldiers who were unqualified or ineligible, pushed paperwork through with fabricated or missing documents, and doled out thousands of dollars more than the program allows. The Bee studied evidence showing that Jaffe’s superiors ignored her behavior, sweeping at least one official allegation under the rug and praising her “100% accountability” in personnel evaluations; some superiors may have benefited themselves. One auditor also blames, in part, the increasing pressure for new recruits; Jaffe herself blames recruiters for lying to new recruits and falsifying paperwork. Read the entire article here.
(Read more fraud stories.)

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