Tennessee Air National Guard Member Found Guilty in Military Recruiting Scheme Trial
Aaron Osborne, 53, of Clarksville, was convicted by a federal jury yesterday, after a seven day trial, of carrying out a scheme to defraud a military recruiting program, announced David Rivera, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee. Specifically, Osborne was convicted of aiding and abetting the theft of government funds.
Evidence presented at trial showed that in 2006 the National Guard Bureau implemented a recruiting program called the Guard Recruiter Assistance Program (G-RAP). Under G-RAP, a guard member acting as a Recruiter Assistant (RA) could receive up to $4,000 in incentive payments if the RA’s recruit eventually joined the guard and went to basic training.
During the time the scheme was carried out, Osborne was a full-time recruiter at the 118th Wing and was ineligible to participate in G-RAP. The evidence showed that Osborne routinely referred to RA Max Andolsek, the names of potential recruits who had already contacted the recruiting office where Osborne worked. Rather than process those recruits through the traditional recruiting channel as required, Osborne referred those recruits to Andolsek, in violation of G-RAP policies.
Five of the recruits testified at trial that they had previously met with Osborne and/or contacted his office about joining the Guard, prior to meeting Andolsek. With Osborne’s assistance, Andolsek collected over $9,000 in G-RAP incentive payments as a result of the fraud. The evidence also showed that Osborne received kickbacks from Andolsek totaling approximately $2,100.
Andolsek previously pleaded guilty on March 24, 2014, to conspiracy to commit theft of government property and conspiracy to make false statements. He is scheduled to be sentenced on November 30, 2015.
Osborne will be sentenced by U.S. District Kevin H. Sharp at a later date. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison. Both Osborne and Andolsek will be required to pay restitution to the Department of Defense.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephanie N. Toussaint and William L. Deneke.