More recent Bee investigations examine evidence of improper payments to Air National Guard pilots and problems in the air alert system they staff, and decades-long neglect of a key Guard training base.
The California National Guard is a vital institution that safeguards our state. Most of its members perform selflessly and maintain high ethical standards. But the Bee will continue to report on financial and leadership lapses as they come to light. If you are a Guard member or for other reasons understand important information about the Guard, please share your insights with us.
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Massive fraud at California Guard, officials allege
From 1986 until her retirement, Master Sgt. Toni Jaffe's job with the California Army National Guard was to give away money - the federally subsidized student-loan repayments and cash bonuses the Guard is supposed to use to tempt new recruits and entice Guard members to sign on for another stint.
Instead, according to a Guard auditor turned federal whistle-blower, as much as $100 million has gone to soldiers who didn't qualify for the incentives.
For years, the auditor and other Guard officials allege in interviews or internal documents obtained by The Bee, California's incentives program was operated as a slush fund, doled out improperly to hundreds of soldiers with fabricated paperwork, scant supervision and little regard for the law.
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