Sacramento, California - Two former California National Guard members recently pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud stemming from a fraud scheme involving recruiting bonuses United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. Brian Kaps, 40, of Chico, pleaded guilty Friday to one count of wire fraud. Sarah Nattress, 27, of Paradise, pleaded guilty on October 23, 2014, to one count of wire fraud.
According to court documents, the United States Army contracted with Document and Packaging Broker Inc. (DOCUPAK) to administer the Guard Recruiting Assistance Program (G-RAP). Under G-RAP, members of the California National Guard served as Recruiting Assistants. If a Recruiting Assistant referred a potential Guard member to a recruiting office and that person ultimately enlisted, the Recruiting Assistant was eligible to receive monetary compensation disbursed by DOCUPAK.
Nattress and Kaps served in the California National Guard as recruiting assistants. In separate cases, they pleaded guilty to taking part in a scheme to cause DOCUPAK to issue unearned recruiting compensation by falsely claiming that various enlistees had been referred to recruiting offices by them, when in fact they had not.
These cases are the product of an ongoing investigation by the Army Criminal Investigative Command Major Procurement Fraud Unit, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Matthew G. Morris is prosecuting the cases.
Nattress is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Troy L. Nunley on January 8, 2015. Kaps is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. on February 6, 2015. They face a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
Six other National Guard members were also indicted in May 2014 in Fresno and Sacramento. The charges against them are only allegations; they are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.