Finance Fraud and G-RAP
The New York Times recently published an article on the efforts to prosecute Soldiers for finance fraud under the now-defunct incentive program called the Guard Recruiting Assistance Program (G-RAP). The story highlights just how far off track the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command (CID) and its Task Force Raptor have gone off course.
It has been over five years since the G-RAP investigations began. Initially, the Army told Congress it had identified $29 million in finance fraud, and that it estimated as much as $100 million may have been wrongly received by Soldiers. That estimate has now been revised down to only $6 million in finance fraud.
Despite the relatively small amount of finance fraud, the Army CID has apparently spent over $40 million dollars to investgate Soldiers. Only $3 million has been recovered due to the G-RAP investigations. It is hard to believe that anyone could justify spending $40 million to recover $3 million.
In addition to the unjustified amount spent on investigations, the G-RAP investigations also have had an added cost to identified Soldiers. The CID investigation can take years to complete. During that time, a Soldier is flagged by the command. The flag prevents any favorable action including schooling, awards, or promotions. Some G-RAP flags have been in place for over four years.
Another impact of the CID investigation is the likely result of being “titled” by CID for finance fraud. The “titling” opinion is CID stating that there is probable cause to believe that the Soldier committed finance fraud. Even if the Soldier is subseqently acquitted, or the case is dismissed, the titling opinion will remain. The titling opinion can result in the Soldier not being promoted or even remaining in the Army due to losing their security clearance.
Unfortunately, it seems that the Army CID is blind to the costs of the G-RAP accusations and investigations. There are at least 2,633 Soldiers who remain under investigation. At this point, the only thing that is assured is that the $40 million dollar price tag for the G-RAP investigations will be going up.