Regional
11:39 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Soldier In Recruiting Scheme Gets Prison

A South Texas soldier who pleaded guilty in a recruiting scam to get referral bonuses must serve 1½ years in prison and repay about $13,000.

A federal judge in San Antonio on Friday sentenced 29-year-old Army Spec. Richard Garcia Jr. of Kirby.

Garcia in July pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy in what prosecutors say was a scam involving $244,000 in wrongly paid referral bonuses. Ten people have pleaded guilty in the ongoing investigation.

Prosecutors say Garcia, who enlisted in November 2005, falsely took credit for recruiting individuals who had decided on their own to join the military.

Military personnel seeking the bonuses had to register online as a sponsor. Investigators say recruiters would provide the names of walk-in recruits to some sponsors and then split the bonuses.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.