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Fort Campbell ex-asst. inspector general charged with stealing officers' IDs

8:26 PM, Jul 10, 2013   |    comments
James Robert Jones
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By The Leaf-Chronicle

CLARKSVILLE, TENN. - A former assistant inspector general at Fort Campbell has been charged with using stolen soldier identities to get fraudulent bank loans.

James Robert Jones, 42, of Woodlawn was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday, announced David Rivera, acting United States attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee, in a news release.

The indictment charges Jones with aggravated identity theft, bank fraud and making a false statement to a financial institution. He is further accused of trying to pin blame for the scheme on a deceased Army officer.

"This office continues to place a high priority on identity theft crimes," Rivera said in the release. "This defendant abused a position of trust and used his position to specifically target those who serve our country, including certain officers who were deployed overseas when he stole their identities. We will seek to hold him accountable for these crimes and for his unlawful attempts to cover them up."

Jones, who was with the U.S. Army Office of Inspector General, obtained personal information, including Social Security numbers and dates of birth, of active duty U.S. Army officers, including officers who were deployed to Afghanistan and one soldier who'd been killed in combat, the indictment says.

He then applied for loans in the officers' names and successfully obtained fraudulent loans from two financial institutions, the indictment says.

When confronted by investigators, Jones tried to conceal his role by falsely accusing a deceased Army officer of planning the scheme, according to the news release.

The indictment further alleges Jones asked a colleague to delete information on his work computer to impede the ongoing investigation.

"The Secret Service remains committed to fighting this type of financial fraud by pursuing individuals who obtain fraudulent loans using stolen identities, especially when the identities belong to members of our armed services," Todd Hudson, special agent in charge of the Secret Service-Nashville Field Office, said in the release. "The indictment announced today illustrates how the combined efforts of the Secret Service and our military law enforcement partners help to protect our financial institutions from fraud."

Jones said Wednesday night that he would plead not guilty and that "there's a whole lot more to the story than what meets the eye."

If convicted, Jones faces up to 30 years in prison for the counts of bank fraud and making a false statement to a bank, as well as an additional two years for each count of aggravated identity theft. Jones also faces up to 20 years in prison for trying to destroy records and five years for making false statements to investigators.

The case was investigated by the Secret Service and Army Criminal Investigations Command. The United States is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney William F. Abely.

An indictment is merely an accusation and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

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