Local 2 Investigates confirmed Friday soldiers with the Texas Army National Guard in Houston and Austin were arrested as part of a far reaching federal investigation. According to Justice Department officials the arrests are part of an on-going investigation into allegations involving a "corruption scheme to illegally obtain fraudulent recruiting bonuses."
As Local 2 reported on July 31 military recruiters were charged with bribery and wire fraud in relation to bonuses received under a government incentive program. Court documents read recruiters were entitled to bonuses under the Guard Recruiting Assistance Program. Federal prosecutors wrote military recruiters could receive up to $2,000 in referral bonuses for recruiting "other individuals to serve in the U.S. Army National Guard."
Court documents read recruiters involved in the case "received, and caused to be received a total of at least approximately $200,000 in fraudulent recruiting referral bonus payments." Federal prosecutors also wrote recruiters "falsely claimed they were responsible for referring certain potential soldiers to join the Texas Army National Guard, when in fact they did not refer these potential soldiers."
Officials with the Texas Army National Guard office in Austin confirmed Friday's arrests, but would not comment further. Officials with the Department of Justice said to date 19 former and current military recruiters have been charged in this investigation and 12 have pleaded guilty.