Crime - Sacto 911

Former California National Guard members plead guilty to fraud in recruiting scheme

Two former California National Guard members have pleaded guilty in federal court in Sacramento to charges of wire fraud stemming from a scheme involving recruiting bonuses.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced that Brian Kaps, 40, of Chico, pleaded guilty Friday to one count of wire fraud, and Sarah Nattress, 27, of Paradise, pleaded guilty Oct. 23, also to one count of wire fraud.

According to court documents, the U.S. Army contracted with Document and Packaging Brokers, also known as Docupak, to administer the Guard Recruiting Assistance Program. Under the program, 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 for monetary compensation disbursed by Docupak.

Nattress and Kaps served as recruiting assistants. In separate cases, they pleaded guilty to taking part in a scheme to cause Docupak to issue unearned recruiting compensation by falsely claiming that they had referred various enlistees to recruiting offices.

Nattress is to be sentenced Jan. 8 by U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley, and Kaps is scheduled for sentencing Feb. 6 by U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr.

The case is a result of an ongoing investigation by the Army Criminal Investigative Command Major Procurement Fraud Unit, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and the FBI.

Six other National Guard members were also indicted in May 2014 in Fresno and Sacramento.

Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.