Additional Charges in Ongoing National Guard Recruitment Fraud Investigation
SACRAMENTO, CA—Steel A. Davis, 42, of Paradise, was arraigned today in federal court, charged with wire fraud in a scheme to obtain bonuses for purportedly referring individuals to enlist in the California National Guard, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. Davis pleaded not guilty to the charges.
According to court documents, the United States Army contracted with a company called 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.
According to the indictment, Davis, who was a recruiter with the California National Guard at the time, is alleged to have given recruits’ information to recruiting assistants, who would then file false claims with DOCUPAK that they had referred the recruits to join the Guard when, in fact, the recruits had joined on their own initiative. When the compensation was received, Davis is alleged to have then split the proceeds of the fraud with the recruiting assistants.
This case is 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 case.
If convicted, Davis faces 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. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
In May 2014, eight other National Guard soldiers were indicted in Sacramento and Fresno. Two of those defendants have pleaded guilty. The remaining cases are pending. The charges against them are only allegations; they are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.