Guard figures involved in the incentive fraud

Published: Monday, Oct. 21, 2013 - 12:00 am
Last Modified: Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013 - 8:48 am

From 2000 to 2010, thousands of California National Guard members improperly or illegally received enlistment incentive payments. Guard audits to date have found that at least 115 service members – most of them officers – committed fraud or acted improperly. Following are some of key players who benefited from or led the problem program, which The Sacramento Bee exposed in October 2010. Many have faced discipline under the Guard’s current leader, Adjutant Gen. David S. Baldwin.

Brig. Gen. Louis J. Antonetti; led California Army National Guard, 2007-10

Involvement in improprieties: Recruiting/Retention reported to him during widespread fraud; he pressured recruiters to increase enlistments.

Consequences: None.

Current role: Retired in 2010.

Brig. Gen. Charlotte L. Miller; led Recruiting and Retention Command, 2005-07

Involvement in the improprieties: In command during widespread fraud; set policy that led to self-enrichment by recruiters.

Consequences: Removed from Guard.

Current role: Retired, but can be recalled by U.S. Army or Army Reserve.

Col. Diana L. Bodner; led Recruiting and Retention Command, 2007-09

Involvement in improprieties: In command during widespread fraud.

Consequences: Removed from command; flagged*; removed from promotion list.

Current role: Retired.

Lieutenant Col. Jodee A. Rowe; led Recruiting and Retention Command, 2009-11

Involvement in improprieties: In command during widespread fraud and illegal giveaway of iPads/gift cards to recruiters.

Consequences: Removed from command; flagged*; removed from promotion list; reprimanded^.

Current role: Retired.

Maj. Jeffrey C. Nichols; led recruiting for National Guard Bureau, a federal agency

Involvement in improprieties: Received $45,000 improperly, according to auditor documents.

Consequences: Reprimanded^; recoupment to be determined.

Current role: Part-time Guard member.

Maj. Steven B. Poteat; Executive officer, Recruiting and Retention Command

Involvement in improprieties: Key leader during widespread fraud; evaluated Master Sgt. Toni L. Jaffe favorably (see below).

Consequences: N/A.

Current role: Retired (now assistant professor of military science, UC Davis).

Maj. Douglas S. Williams; Officer, then acting-commander, Recruiting and Retention Command

Involvement in improprieties: Received $21,300 improperly.

Consequences: Removed from command; flagged*; $21,300 restitution; separated from full-time service.

Current role: Retired

Capt. Yasser J. Brenes; Recruiter

Involvement in improprieties: Received $27,000 improperly.

Consequences: Flagged*; security clearance revoked; pleaded guilty to fraud; sentenced to pay $27,000 in restitution, two days in custody, one year probation.

Current role: Discharged in 2013.

Capt. Raymond Allard; Educational services officer

Involvement in improprieties: Received $29,000 improperly.

Consequences: Pleaded guilty to fraud; sentenced to pay $29,000 in restitution, four days in custody, one year probation; reprimanded^.

Current role: Part-time Guard member.

Capt. Thomas Nys; Logistics officer.

Involvement in improprieties: Received $20,000 improperly.

Consequences: Pleaded guilty to fraud; sentenced to pay $21,000 in restitution and fines, one year probation.

Current role: Resigned in 2012.

Capt. Bruce H. Corum; Guard member

Involvement in improprieties: Received $83,000 improperly, according to auditor documents – estimated as the most by any service member.

Consequences: Reprimanded~; recoupment to be determined.

Current role: Part-time Guard member.

Capt. Robert N. Couture; Recruiter

Involvement in improprieties: Received $51,000 improperly, according to auditor documents.

Consequences: Reprimanded~; recoupment to be determined.

Current role: Part-time Guard member.

Capt. Eric T. Goldie; Guard member

Involvement in improprieties: Received $40,500 improperly, according to auditor documents.

Consequences: Recoupment to be determined.

Current role: Transferred to Army Reserves#.

Capt. Teressa R. Vaughn; Recruiter

Involvement in improprieties: Received $81,850 improperly.

Consequences: Flagged*; recoupment of $81,850 in process.

Current role: Part-time Guard member; chaplain candidate.

Command Sgt. Major Bobby L. Rollins; Top noncommissioned officer, Recruiting and Retention Command

Involvement in improprieties: Key leader during widespread fraud; ordered illegal purchase of iPads as gifts, coerced subordinate who resisted, according to official report.

Consequences: Removed from command; flagged*; separated from full-time service; reprimanded^.

Current role: Retired in 2011.

Sgt. Major Kurt R. Muchow; Top noncommissioned officer, Recruiting and Retention Command

Involvement in improprieties: Key leader during widespread fraud; evaluated Master Sgt. Toni L. Jaffe (see below) favorably.

Consequences: Removed from command; reprimanded^.

Current role: Retired in 2011.

Master Sgt. Toni L. Jaffe; Incentive program manager, 1986-2009

Involvement in improprieties: Administered/approved tens of millions of dollars in improper payments.

Consequences: Serving sentence of 30 months in prison; ordered to repay $15.2 million in improperly authorized incentives.

Current role: Retired in 2009.

*Flagged members face investigation for possible wrongdoing or for breaking military rules.

^General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand placed in soldier’s permanent personnel file.

~General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand placed in soldier’s local personnel file for three years.

#Outside of National Guard jurisdiction for penalties.

Sources: California National Guard, Guard documents, Bee reporting.

Read more articles by Charles Piller



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