- Associated Press - Friday, November 21, 2014

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Two former members of the California National Guard have pleaded guilty to wire fraud stemming from a scheme involving recruitment bonuses, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Sacramento said Friday.

Brian Kaps, 40, of Chico pleaded guilty Friday. Sarah Nattress, 27, of Paradise, pleaded guilty Oct. 23.

They were among eight current or former National Guard members indicted in May on federal charges alleging that they fraudulently obtained tens of thousands of dollars in recruiting referral bonuses. The other six are awaiting trial.

Kaps was charged with collecting $16,000 and Nattress $28,000 in bonuses by falsely claiming to have referred eligible recruits to enlistment offices. Both served as recruiting assistants.

Although wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, their attorneys said they are hopeful their clients will serve no jail time. Both said their clients recognized they made a mistake and are eager to move on with their lives.

“I hope this one mistake does not define him,” said Mark Reichel, attorney for Kaps. “He’s a great father and a great friend to everyone. He’s a great guy.”

Attorney Kelly Babineau said her client was young when she joined the Guard and now is trying to make amends. Nattress is scheduled for sentencing Jan. 8 and Kaps on Feb. 6.

The California National Guard previously said it had no control over the federal program.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide