A former Army assistant inspector general at Fort Campbell has been indicted by a federal grand jury on suspicion of stealing the identities of Army officers to obtain fraudulent bank loans.
Sgt. 1st Class James Robert Jones, 42, of Woodlawn, is accused of using his position in the military to obtain the Social Security numbers and other personal information of active duty officers, including some who were deployed to Afghanistan at the time, according to the United States Attorney's Office.
Another of the alleged victims was an enlisted soldier, who had been killed in combat, in Afghanistan, prosecutors said.
As assistant inspector general, Jones' job was to investigate misconduct.
Jones is now charged with aggravated identity theft, bank fraud, making a false statement to a financial institution, obstructing justice and making false statements to investigators.
The indictment claims that when confronted by investigators, Jones attempted to falsely accuse a deceased Army officer of planning the alleged scheme. He then allegedly asked a colleague to delete information from Jones' work computer in an effort to conceal evidence.
Speaking from his home in Woodlawn, Jones told Channel 4 the indictment is bogus, and he will be pleading not guilty to his charges. Jones said he's deeply hurt by the accusations, especially the charge he used the information of a fallen soldier. He also claimed he only found out about the indictment through media coverage Wednesday. He said the indictment is an attempt to vilify him, though he declined to explain that claim.
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 attempting to destroy records, and five years for making false statements to investigators.
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