Ex-Army assistant inspector general pleads in fraud scheme

Staff Reports • Updated May 13, 2014 at 1:22 PM

James Robert Jones, 43, of Woodlawn, pleaded guilty Tuesday in connection with a scheme to get fraudulent bank loans using the stolen identities of active duty U.S. Army officers, according to David Rivera, U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee. 

At a hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Aleta A. Trauger, Jones entered guilty plea to one count of bank fraud, one count of making a false statement to a bank, one count of making a false statement to federal agents and one count of obstructing justice. 

At his plea hearing, Jones, a former assistant inspector general with the U.S. Army Office of Inspector General at Fort Campbell, Ky., admitted abusing his position to get personal identifying information, including Social Security numbers and dates of birth, of active duty U.S. Army officers, including officers who were deployed to Afghanistan. 

Jones acknowledged he used this personal identifying information to apply for loans in the officers’ names, he received loans from two federally insured financial institutions and he used the money from the loans for his own personal benefit.

Jones also admitted he attempted to conceal his scheme by asking a colleague to delete records found on his U.S. Army-issued laptop computer, and by seeking to cast blame for his crimes on a deceased U.S. Army officer, despite the fact that the deceased officer had no involvement in the scheme.

Jones faces up to 30 years in prison for the counts of bank fraud and making a false statement to a bank, up to 20 years in prison for obstructing justice and up to five years in prison for making false statements to investigators.  Jones will be sentenced Aug. 11.

The U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Army Criminal Investigations Command at Fort Campbell investigated the case. Assistant U.S. attorney William F. Abely served as prosecutor.

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