A civilian employee who used to work for the Department of Defense in Colorado has just been booked for defrauding the Army out of $125,000 dollars worth of bonus money after lying about referring numerous recruits.
The punishment? Jaycee Collier, who ran the scheme from March 2009 up until July 2012, will have to sit at home for six months while wearing an electronic bracelet on his ankle to make sure he doesn’t run, Army Times reports.
That’s not the end of the story. Judge William J. Martinez also told 30-year-old Collier that he’ll be forced into community service for 30 hours. He originally faced up to 20 years in prison, as well as a $250,000 dollar fine, but after it became clear that Collier had no criminal record and suffers from cancer, the judge lightened the sentence, tacking on five months of probation after Collier waits out his sentence at home.
From the beginning, Collier worked as human resources division assistant for the Military Entrance Processing Station in Colorado. Using his level of access in the department, Collier was able to track down the names and passwords of numerous personnel in the Army Reserve to take advantage of the Army Reserve Recruiting Assistance Program, which offered bonuses to soldiers in the reserve for bringing others into the reserves.
Since he was ineligible to receive any recruitment bonuses, he collaborated with other reserve soldiers to fill out forms in which they claimed to have referred the soldiers using the personal details of the reserve soldiers that Collier had tracked down through clever searching. For every bonus transfer received, soldiers gained $2,000 dollars and paid Collier $500 dollars for his help in navigating the system. In total, Collier received $28,000 dollars from kickbacks for approximately 65 recruits, while the rest of the $125,000 was given to his helpers..
Back in August, Collier pled guilty to only one count of wire fraud after striking a deal with prosecutors, confessing to the judge that he had “helped individuals to receive money… who were friends of mine.”
The whole case started in April of 2014, when Collier was indicted by a federal grand jury and charged with bribery and wire fraud. Collier was charged after the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division and Defense Criminal Investigative Service turned up evidence of his misdeeds.
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