For sale: One of the most notorious citizens of Durham, North Carolina finds herself under scrutiny after her boyfriend is stabbed. -Crystal Mangum, Snapped (S24, E7)
Date: April 3, 2011
Victim: Reginald Daye, 46, professional painter
Offender: Crystal Mangum, 32, Navy veteran, college student
Location: Durham, North Carolina
Circumstances: Reginald Daye grew up in Durham, North Carolina, family described him as kind and caring and looking for a long-term relationship, he met Crystal in 2011, she was 14 years younger, Crystal’s family was low income but loving, she served in the Navy for 3 1/2 years, while in the service, Crystal met another Navy sailor and they had two children, the relationship didn’t last because he was married the entire time, Crystal was honorably discharged as a result, she returned to Durham to be closer to family, she earned a college degree in psychology and was pursuing her masters, she met another man and had a third child but this relationship ended as well, she was struggling financially and moved in with her aunt in 2010, this is where she met Reginald, Reginald asked Crystal to move in with him to help share the rent, they became romantically involved, Reggie fell quickly for Crystal, he loved her kids too, they appeared to have a good relationship, he wanted a family & love, barely a month after Crystal moved in, she stabbed Reggie after a violent confrontation, Reggie was rushed into surgery, the police walked into a crime scene of violence, the living room was destroyed, a door to the bathroom was ripped off its hinges, Reggie revealed that Crystal had stabbed him, police learned the offender was “the Crystal Mangum,” in 2006, Crystal was working as an exotic dancer for private parties, she needed the money while attending school, on March 13, 2006, Crystal got a job at an off campus party, that same night, Crystal reported she was raped by three Duke Lacrosse players, they gave her a picture of the team and she picked out three men from the photo, the DA took on the case with vigor and the media descended on Durham, NC, it was the privileged versus the low income single mom, she claimed they were drunk and abusive, the university acted quickly, cancelled the teams events and the coach was fired, it polarized the community, it split America right down the middle, it dominated the national news, but the case began to unravel, the DNA came back and none of the men she accused matched the DNA sample from the sexual assault kit, it was a case of a false accusation and these men were totally innocent, the DA was disgraced and disbarred, CM was a pariah in the community, she couldn’t get a job or an apartment because of the reputation she had, initially, the attack on Reggie stemmed from a domestic dispute with CM, police couldn’t find CM and they actively looked for her to ask her about the altercation, then the police got a mysterious phone call from a child, the boy told 911 his mom was in a fight and had to leave, they responded to the call at the neighbors apartment, CM was there, she had injuries and the police needed pictures of them, one of the detectives believed that she may have stabbed Reggie in self-defense, CM knew not to talk to the police without an attorney, she was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury (stabbing), after she was booked into jail, the police called the hospital to get a status, it appeared Reggie was going to make a full recovery, after his surgery, he gave the police a statement, Reggie told the police he introduced CM to his family at a party, when they got home, he got jealous because she was flirting with someone, once they got in the apartment, the argument escalated quickly, he went into a jealous rage and admitted hitting and jumping on CM, he forced the bathroom door open to get to CM and pulled her out of the bathroom, he finally stopped and then CM went to the kitchen, got a knife, and stabbed him in his side, but doctor’s saved him, he admitted they were fighting and he got mad which gave her what looked like a reason for self-defense, but on April 6, Reggie’s condition took an unexpected turn for the worse and he died, they were concerned he was detoxing from alcohol, ran a fever and went into cardiac arrest, he was in a coma and had substantial brain damage, the family had to make the decision to pull the life support, he died on April 13, 2011, his family was devastated, Crystal was in jail at the time Reggie passed away, Reggie’s death had dire repercussions for CM, her charges went from assault to a first degree murder charge, CM decided its time to talk directly to the DA, she said after they returned from the party, Reggie became jealous and hit her in the head once they got in the apartment, she hid in the bathroom and he kicked the door in and dragged her out by her hair, he finally relented but she said Reggie got some knives out of the kitchen and started throwing them at her, she stabbed him in the side and ran out of the apartment, the police had a chaotic scene to decipher, CM was charged with second degree murder, CM’s advocates claimed she couldn’t get a fair trial in Durham because of her high profile notorious past, 2 1/2 years later, 35 yo CM headed to trial in Durham County Courthouse, she had a lot of supporters in Durham and said it was an altercation to save her life but the prosecution said she was a dangerous and unstable woman who had a lack of self control and was on the edge, the judge did not allow the Duke Lacrosse case in the trial, but an ex-boyfriend of CM testified against her, he didn’t want to but did testify that 14 months prior to Reggie’s attack, she threatened him with a knife as well, she also set some of his belongings on fire, he called the police and they intervened, CM was arrested for arson and spent 90 days in jail, then she moved in with her aunt and met Reggie, the similarities were no coincidence, it was a pattern of abusing men, some people thought she should have been prosecuted for the false rape allegations and this was vindication for them, Crystal’s supporters see a travesty of justice
Disposition: On November 22, 2014, Crystal Mangum was found guilty of second degree murder of Reginald Daye and sentenced to fourteen-eighteen years in prison, on appeal, she asked for a new trial but it was denied
Source: ‘Crystal Mangum’ Snapped
Crystal Mangum’s name became synonymous with scandal and was known throughout Durham, North Carolina. -Snapped (S24, E7)
Friend of Crystal Mangum, Jacqueline Wagstaff, expresses Crystal didn’t receive a fair trial. -Snapped (S24, E7)
Law enforcement, friends and reporters describe their opinions of the verdict of Crystal Mangum. -Snapped (S24, E7)
In the News:
Duke Lacrosse Rape Case Dismissed – False Rape Allegations, David R. Usher, Extra Edition
Ed Bradley of “60 Minutes” speaks with Hannah Storm about his exclusive interview with Duke University lacrosse players accused of raping an exotic dancer. -CBS News
The woman who prosecutors determined falsely accused three Duke lacrosse players of rape maintains in a new memoir that she was attacked, a claim that provoked an angry lawsuit threat from one player’s family. -Associated Press
Crystal Mangum found guilty of 2nd-degree murder. -The News & Observer
Duke Lacrosse Rape Accuser Crystal Magnum Found Guilty Of Murder. -The Advise TV Show
Crystal Gail Mangum made headlines for falsely accusing members of the Duke University men’s lacrosse team of rape. A few years later, Mangum is charged with attempted murder. -Corrupt Crimes, True Crime Network
Presumed Guilty: Due Process Lessons of the Duke Lacrosse Case. -The FIRE Org
Join Chuck Woolery as he revisits Crystal Magnum and how she falsely accused three Duke University lacrosse players of rape in 2006. -Blunt Force Truth
Crystal Mangum, Stripped to the Bone, Wives with Knives
Obituary: Reginald Eugene “Reggie” Daye
Duke Lacrosse Accuser Crystal Mangum’s Tragic Life
Judge Ordered Psychiatric Evaluation For Woman Charged With Murder Who Falsely Accused Duke Lacrosse Players
Duke Rape Accuser Crystal Mangum May Face Murder Charges
Duke rape accuser might face murder charge
Duke lacrosse accuser Crystal Mangum charged with murder
Duke lacrosse accuser charged with murder in boyfriend’s stabbing
Duke lax accuser indicted for murder
Duke lacrosse accuser indicted on murder charge
Duke Lacrosse: Crystal Mangum Indicted for First-Degree Murder
Duke lacrosse accuser out of jail after murder charge
Duke lacrosse accuser makes bond on murder charge
Jury selection starts in Crystal Mangum murder trial
Verdict Watch: Crystal Mangum Murder Trial
Mangum jurors see alleged murder weapon
Prosecution rests its case in Crystal Mangum murder trial
Mangum found guilty in boyfriend’s stabbing death
Crystal Mangum, Duke lacrosse accuser, convicted, sentenced in boyfriend’s stabbing death
Crystal Mangum, Duke lacrosse accuser, convicted of murder
Duke lacrosse accuser found guilty of murder
Duke Lacrosse Fake “Victim” Was Convicted of Murder
Duke lacrosse accuser Crystal Mangum guilty of murder
Duke Lacrosse accuser Crystal Mangum found guilty of second-degree murder
Woman who falsely accused Duke lacrosse players of rape found guilty of murder
Crystal Mangum, Duke lacrosse accuser, gets 14 years for murder
Duke rape accuser Crystal Mangum sentenced to 14 years for murder
Is Sidney Harr’s crusade for Crystal Mangum backfiring?
Former Duke Lacrosse accuser Crystal Mangum speaks to ABC11 from behind bars
The Duke Lacrosse Accuser Stands by Her Story
Crystal Mangum appeals murder conviction in 2011 Durham stabbing
Duke lacrosse accuser wants cash, new murder trial, but will ally land in court?
Accuser from Duke lacrosse case seeks damages, new murder trial in latest legal battle
Duke lacrosse rape accuser loses bid for a new murder trial
Judge dismisses lawsuits filed by Duke lacrosse accuser
“I’m Broken”: The Duke Lacrosse Rape Accuser, 10 Years Later
Here’s the latest on the Duke lacrosse accuser
Duke University Lacrosse Team Rape Scandal
Duke Rape Accuser Got 160 TV News Stories on Accusation, 3 on Murder Conviction
Remembering (and Misremembering) the Duke Lacrosse Case
A New ESPN Doc Exposes the Real Villains in the Duke Lacrosse Case
Former Exotic Dancer who Accused Duke Lacrosse Players of Sexual Assault Fatally Stabs Boyfriend
Durham’s Crystal Mangum the subject of an episode of true crime series ‘Snapped’
Fantastic Lies, ESPN Films
Fantastic Lies, ESPN Films: 30 for 30 (Amazon Prime)
Crystal Mangum | Murderpedia
Duke Lacrosse Rape Case Dismissed – False Rape Allegations, David R. Usher, Extra Edition
Accused Lacrosse Players Talk: CBS News
Duke Accuser Restates Claims in New Book
Crystal Mangum found guilty of 2nd-degree murder
Duke Lacrosse Rape Accuser Crystal Magnum Found Guilty Of Murder
Crystal Gail Mangum, Duke Lacrosse Scandal
Presumed Guilty: Due Process Lessons of the Duke Lacrosse Case
Blunt Force Truth Minute – Duke Lacrosse Accuser
Wives with Knives co-starring Riko Bay from ID Channel
Crystal Mangum | Snapped | Oxygen (S24, E7)
Crystal Mangum | Snapped | Oxygen (website)
Snapped: Preview – What Is The Truth (Season 24, Episode 7) | Oxygen
Snapped: Bonus Clip – I Won’t Stop Being An Advocate (Season 24, Episode 7) | Oxygen
Snapped: Bonus Clip – Was There More To The Case? (Season 24, Episode 7) | Oxygen
Guest Post by Liz Ullman:
Enrique Costas comes from four generations of dignified and recognized military service. His grandfather’s name is in the history books as one of the first soldiers to join the Puerto Rico National Guard to serve the United States. His father defended this country for 32 years, earning an Air Medal for heroism in Vietnam; his nephew will be commissioned as an officer in the next week and will be going on active duty.
Costas enlisted in the Puerto Rico National Guard in 1988. In 1999 he volunteered to be assigned as a Recruiter, earning top awards and commendations throughout his almost 14 years as the Senior Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge (NCOIC) of the Puerto Rico Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention (RR) Command office in San Juan. He was also selected and participated for seven years in the Puerto Rico National Guard Honor Guard, the team responsible for carrying our Nation’s and Army Colors in the highest of the Government’s activities and celebrations.
He was responsible for achieving monthly production for the three main tenets of the Guard recruiting office: Recruiting, Retention and Attrition Management • Staff resourcing for two Army battalions covering 13 cities • Supervising and mentoring up to 10 recruiting and retention non-commissioned officers.
Costas was a champion in mission accomplishment with the highest integrity and ethics. His walls are filled awards and photos with the Guard’s top-ranking officers, including General Clyde A. Vaughn, who personally commended Costas for his service and integrity. Costas retired in 2014 after Honorably serving our Nation for over 26 years.
The biggest mistake Costas made in his career was simply being on duty during the Guard Recruiting Assistance Program also known as G-RAP, a cash incentive opportunity for civilian soldiers to bring in new recruits. With no direction from Washington D.C.’s Strength Maintenance Division, General Vaughn’s recruiters were supposed to intuit the 60 changes in the G-RAP rules over a seven-year period, while also working to fill the dwindling ranks of Guard troops.
Just before dawn, on an early October morning in 2015, Costas’s home was stormed by six Federal agents and two State police officers, in full tactical gear. Costas thought his family was under attack, and it was – by the Government he had served. Costas was arrested and taken to a Federal Courthouse where he was charged with “crimes” dating back almost ten years, during the days of G-RAP.
Costas is one of hundreds of General Vaughn’s recruiters who have been held responsible for not knowing the G-RAP rules that were never sent to them. And not just held responsible — charged with criminal intent to commit fraud against the Government. General Vaughn, who created and administered G-RAP, and who was administratively sanctioned for poor management, is enjoying full retirement in Virginia and Arizona.
Costas is going to prison.
The government’s “evidence” against Costas and other recruiters does not even meet the standard of circumstantial. In his case, the government admitted during trial to having no actual evidence, but only a “reasonable inference” that a crime could have been committed.
As a recruiter, Costas could not and did not participate in G-RAP. There were no Army regulations that governed G-RAP because the program was run by a private Alabama-based contractor called Docupak. Docupak was essentially incentivized to run a sloppy program, earning a 17% markup on every new enlistment, on top of their contract fees and administrative expenses. This lack of training stands in sharp contrast to how the Army usually operates, with manuals and rules on almost every action and procedure.
The one rule that the prosecution seized on to brand soldiers and veterans as felons regarded the relationship between the Recruiting Officer and the Docupak civilian contractors known as Recruiting Assistants (RAs). When G-RAP began, those contractors were regarded as assistants to the Recruiting Officers. The Recruiting Officers might use the RAs to give that extra push to a potential applicant considering enlisting. The Recruiting Officers were encouraged to ask the RAs to attend recruiting events and help with the finding of potential candidates. The original program outline stated that the Recruiting Officer would provide specifics for each possible enlistment to the RA, including legal name, birth date and social security number. That information was used by Docupak to verify enlistments and process payments to their RA contractors. In later descriptions of G-RAP, the social security number would go from the new recruit to the RA contractor, bypassing the Recruiting Officer, which not a single RA contractor reports ever seeing or any evidence has ever been produced by Docupak that verifies it.
This procedural change has resulted in hundred of indictments and scores of convictions for identity theft and wire fraud. Soldiers and veterans are in prison. Costas, sadly, is on his way.
After the government filed more than 50 felonies against Costas, his defense team could not overcome the wrath of the United States and he was convicted by a jury who felt that with so many felonies filed, Costas certainly had to have done something wrong.
He did not. G-RAP was a tangle of mismanagement; the soldiers who were on duty during its tenure are paying the price of administrative failures by their command. In an internal investigation done by the Puerto Rico National Guard pertaining to G-RAP in 2012, the Investigating Officer admitted that “Recruiters had no formal training on how G-RAP operated.”
Costas and his family had their hearts broken when the prosecution opened with statements calling him a “cheater, stealer and a liar.” He said these words, “pierced the core of his soul.”
Presumption of Innocence or even the “benefit of the doubt” was never given. In the end the Government spent an estimated $100,000 prosecuting Costas and the jury found Costas guilty on three charges amounting to $3,000. Although never having a criminal record and an impeccable military career, the judge sentenced Costas to prison. In the end “reasonable inference” and circumstantial evidence weighed more than 26 years of honorable service willing to sacrifice life and limb.
Recently the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th District reversed and vacated a conviction of an accused soldier involving G-RAP and determined, that the “Government did not retain a revisionary interest in the funds and that it did not exercise supervision or control over the funds”. This decision cannot be applied to Costas unless the United States Court of Appeals for the 1st District, the Supreme Court, or Congress rules on it.
“Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”
― Carl Sagan
The claims were extraordinary. The evidence was missing. And yet, a United States military hero and veteran has been sacrificed.
We respectfully request that Congress or the White House appoint a commission to review the G-RAP investigation, to identify Soldiers that have been unjustly stigmatized by it, and to recommend suitable cases for clemency and pardon.
Stop G-RAP Injustice | Facebook
The Conspiracy Behind the G-RAP War on American Soldiers (March 30, 2016)
If You Look at the Dollars, Guard Recruiting Assistance Program Investigations Make No Sense (July 12, 2016)
Top Ten Problems with the National Guard Recruiting Assistance Program (G-RAP) Investigations (December 15, 2016)
An Open Letter to Congress Regarding the Investigations of the National Guard Recruiting Assistance Program (June 5, 2017)
Both the New York Times and the Washington Times are reporting that the Army’s investigation of National Guard soldiers and veterans who participated in the Guard Recruiting Assistance Program (G-RAP) has gone far and wide of the intention. Thousands of Guard troops have had their military and civilian careers destroyed over the Army’s accusations and questionable investigations.
They are questionable because of the constitutionality of the Army serving as a police force to investigate citizen soldiers. They are questionable because CID’s tactics do not conform to policy. They are questionable, because in five years of investigations and an estimated $40 million spent by CID, not even a fraction of the alleged fraud has been found. Senator Claire McCaskill took, at face value, Gen Quantock’s testimony that $100 million was lost to G-RAP fraud. Senator McCaskill set loose the largest military criminal investigation in history.
I am just a citizen volunteer: not military, not an attorney, who did background research for a friend caught in this trap. In the process I amassed thousands of pages of documentation that the investigations are unjust, and possibly illegal – That the premise of massive fraud is wrong and that the witch hunt continues only to prove the Army’s wild exaggerations.
G-RAP is a dark and complicated story and one that needs attention. Shining a spotlight on this can only happen in Congress.
I would welcome an opportunity to share what I have found.
Defend Our Protectors
Stop G-RAP Injustice on Facebook
The Conspiracy Behind the G-RAP War on American Soldiers
If You Look at the Dollars, Guard Recruiting Assistance Program Investigations Make No Sense
Top Ten Problems with the National Guard Recruiting Assistance Program (G-RAP) Investigations
Guest post submitted by:
O’Connell & Associates, PLLC Doug@DougOConnell.com
Attorney Doug O’Connell has represented former Recruiting Assistants for the past two years in both criminal and civil matters. A former state and federal prosecutor, Doug is also a Special Forces Colonel in the Texas Army National Guard. In addition to his own practice, Doug is Of Counsel to Fluet, Huber + Hoang law firm.
The G-RAP accusations and investigations have now lingered for over five years. At least 90,430 (1) National Guard Soldiers (88% of all G-RAP participants) have been subjected to investigations as part of a massive dragnet to recover bonuses (2). 125 Soldiers have been prosecuted in Federal or State Courts; at least 2633 Soldiers remain under investigation (3). While a handful of unscrupulous participants took advantage of the ever-changing rules of this contractor-run program, those cases were adjudicated years ago. What the Army CID is now doing is nothing more than pursuing anyone whose G-RAP tenure spanned the years with the most rules’ changes in an effort to prove up the Army’s exaggerated fraud estimate.
It’s hard to pick the Top 10 issues with G-RAP. The items below represent issues apparent in almost every case. This list omits, but hardly overlooks, such things as inappropriate command pressure to participate in G-RAP, forcing accused Soldiers to undergo DNA collection (4), active surveillance of National Guard Soldiers by Army CID (5), coercion to make reimbursements to the Army (6) in lieu of punishment and other notable violations of Soldier’s rights.
1 Letter to Representative Mike Coffman from Daniel M. Quinn, Chief of Staff, USACIC.
2 The U.S. Army and U.S. Department of Justice consistently refers to G-RAP payments as bonuses in sworn testimony, official documents and court filings. The payments were paid by a contractor directly to the Soldier and IRS form 1099 was issued to every participant. Payments were not processed by DFAS and did not appear on a LES. Finally, Congress did not authorize a bonus related to this program. Nevertheless, Government officials consistently refer to G-RAP payments as bonuses, perhaps wishing it were true so that legal recoupment would be possible.
3 Per letter to Rep Coffman.
4 Collected by a cheek swab without a warrant in violation of the 4th Amendment.
5 Related to an allegation of fraud which if true occurred years prior.
6 Possibly an illegal augmentation of appropriations in violation of the Miscellaneous Receipts statute, 31 USC §3302.
1. GUILT BY ALGORITHM.
Auditors, instead of seasoned law enforcement professionals, launched the G-RAP investigations. Rather than using any type of proper legal standard like probable cause, the Army Audit Agency assembled lists of Soldiers branded “high risk” by the auditors. The definition for “High Risk” was listed as “an inability to follow the rules.” Because the rules changed 60 times in seven years, almost everyone who successfully participated in G-RAP became a target. Soldiers connected to the “high risk” Soldiers were in turn investigated. This self-perpetuating, system of guilt by association crushes any notion of justice and the rule of law. Years later, many of these Soldiers still are under the cloud of a CID investigation and are being forced to defend (at great financial and emotional cost) their names and careers.
2. COMPULSORY INTERROGATIONS.
Federal CID agents lack any authority to compel National Guard Soldiers (or veterans) to submit to interrogations. Unfortunately, neither CID nor most Guard Soldiers and veterans understand that they cannot be forced to appear or answer questions from Army-dispatched agents. CID agents repeatedly violate this bright line legal standard. Worse yet, some Guard Commanders aren’t sufficiently knowledgeable about the law to protect their Soldiers. Once confronted with apparent military authority, many individuals, honestly believing they did nothing wrong, provide answers, later cherry picked and twisted to supposedly show guilt. The unfortunate individual is left having to prove he or she didn’t say something or that the statement was taken out of context.
3. INVESTIGATORS WITH A PERSONAL FINANCIAL INCENTIVE.
The CID Investigators pursuing G-RAP allegations include Army Reserve CID Agents voluntarily on active duty orders. At a minimum, the perception exists that the Reserve Agents have a financial incentive to perpetuate the investigations. The longer the investigations continue, the longer these agents remain employed. Further compounding this problem is the very logical assumption that few agents would volunteer for active duty if it meant a pay cut from their civilian employment.
4. VIOLATIONS OF THE POSSE COMITATUS ACT.
National Guard Soldiers not mobilized into federal service, are like any other civilian citizen under the law. The Posse Comitatus Act prohibits federal military personnel from investigating and enforcing the law. Yet, that is exactly what is happening. The PCA is a federal criminal offense punishable by a term in prison. In the G-RAP investigations, federal military agents are investigating allegations of criminal violations by Guard Soldiers, who are the same as civilians under the law (7). This is a clear violation of the PCA. Unfortunately, this flawed law requires the same prosecutors who are prosecuting Soldiers to levy charges against the same agents investigating the cases they prosecute.
7 See Perprich vs. Department of Defense, 496 U.S. 334 (1990).
5. TRAMPLING THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS.
In our system of justice, a statue of limitations exists to limit the Government’s ability to bring charges so remote that the defendant can’t reasonably mount an effective defense. In G-RAP cases, the Government is circumventing the statue of limitations with a World War II era tolling statute. Most applicable criminal offenses have a 5 year statute of limitations. Since G-RAP ended in 2012 the statute of limitations has long expired in most cases. However, in G-RAP investigations and prosecutions the Government is relying on the Wartime Suspension of Limitations Act (8) to continue to bring criminal cases. First enacted in 1948, the WSLA is designed to protect the Country from fraud during times of war. This law likely made sense during World War II, the Korea and Vietnam conflicts. However, the nature of warfare has changed. The current war against terrorism and global extremist groups will continue indefinitely. Relying on the outdated WSLA during today’s conflicts effectively terminates the deeply rooted equitable concept of a statue of limitations.
8 18 USC §3287
6. SPENDING $40 MILLION -TO COLLECT $3 MILLION.
Our Government has spent at least an estimated $40 million dollars (9) to investigate Soldiers. The ensuing recoupment actions and prosecutions have recovered, at most $3 million dollars (10). Army CID agents have repeatedly conducted full field investigations to determine if a Soldier’s single $2,000.00 bonus was righteous (11). In an era of constrained defense spending with persistent and emerging global terrorist threats, this massive boondoggle sets a new record for fraud, waste and abuse. The CID agents’ limited time and resources would be much better spent working to prevent the next Fort Hood terrorist attack.
9 This is a conservative estimate which includes the personnel cost associated with bringing the USAR agents onto duty status.
10 This figure is also an estimate based on all federal cases reported in the Pacer.gov system and media reports from around the country.
11 At least one National Guard officer is currently under indictment for a single G-RAP recruitment.
7. INACCURATE TESTIMONY TO CONGRESS & POLITICAL PRESSURE
The entire G-RAP controversy is based on inaccurate and irresponsible testimony to Congress. During Senate hearings chaired by Senator Claire McCaskill (12), Army General Officers testified that the total G-RAP fraud could be as high as $99 million (13). This estimate was wildly inaccurate (14). To date, the Government has only collected $3 million in fraudulent payments. Senator McCaskill immediately branded these Soldiers as criminals despite their Constitutional right to be presumed innocent (15). Many have speculated that the hearings and estimates of widespread fraud were designed to embarrass the National Guard during budget battles. Others suggest that it was an attempt to appease this powerful member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and self styled “accountability advocate.” Still others contend that the hearings were an attempt to shift focus from sexual assaults in the military. Whatever the reason, the McCaskill hearing set off a chain of events abrogating the presumption of innocence justice toward service members and veterans.
12 United States Senate Hearing: Fraud and Abuse in Army Recruiting Contracts, February 4, 2014.
14 It appears that this testimony has never been revised, amended or updated to correct the record.
8. AT LEAST 60 CHANGES TO THE “RULES.”
In the eyes of CID, violations of the program “rules,” indicates intentional fraud worthy of criminal investigation. However, the G-RAP “rules” changed at least 60 times during the life of the program (16). Understanding the “rules” of G-RAP at any given point in time requires a detailed analysis based on a significant review of multiple documents (17). In the vast majority of cases, if the Soldier violated the “rules,” it is more likely due to confusion rather than a deliberate desire to cheat the system. With unrelenting intensity, CID doesn’t investigate an alleged crime; they gather slanted “evidence” to prove that a crime was committed. CID, in fact, has been responsible for elevating an inability to follow the rules of a program run by a private contractor to the level of a crime. One example: at various times full time members of the National Guard were authorized to participate in G-RAP, at other times they were ineligible. If a Soldier entered G-RAP when full time members were allowed, but submitted data for payment months later when full time members were not allowed, that Soldier is investigated for fraud.
16 See Agent’s Investigation Report, CID Special Agent Julie Thurlow, November 22, 2013.
17 National Guard Bureau changed the rules via a contract change order sent to Docupak.
9. “SPHERE OF INFLUENCE” AND OTHER VAGUE GUIDANCE.
Soldiers participating in G-RAP received instruction to recruit from their “sphere of influence.” This term was never defined. It’s unclear if the intent of this language was to limit recruitment to pre-existing relationships. Regardless of NGB’s intent, the Soldiers received a very different message. For example, once hired by Docupak, Soldiers were provided marketing items such as t-shirts with the message “ask me about the National Guard.” None of the marketing items provided would have been necessary to recruit people already known to the Soldier. Now, these same Soldiers are investigated and some prosecuted for recruiting outside their sphere of influence. Likewise, Soldiers were told that they “shouldn’t” wear their uniform when conducting recruiting activities. If this were truly a prohibited action worthy of investigation, the “rule” would have been written as “you are prohibited from wearing your uniform.”
10. “I DON’T REMEMBER = GUILTY.”
When CID agents track down and contact recruits many years after their enlistment into the National Guard, most don’t remember the details of their interaction with the recruiting assistant. To the CID agents, this means the RA committed misconduct. The alternative explanation is unfathomable to the agents: the recruit, 7 years later, just doesn’t remember. This is especially problematic since Government prosecutors use this lack of memory to charge the Soldier with Aggravated Identity Theft (18), a charge that carries a mandatory minimum term of prison sentence of two years.
18 18 USC § 1028A.
“EXTRA CREDIT:” CID KNEW ABOUT ALLEGED FRAUD FOR FIVE YEARS BEFORE TAKING ACTION.
On May 22, 2007, five years before G-RAP was shut down, Agents from Army CID, Air Force OSI, and Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) met with Docupak to discuss potential fraud in the program (19). A representative of the United States Department of Justice (20) was also in attendance. The agents specifically instructed Docupak not to notify the State Adjutant Generals, National Guard Bureau, or the contracting officer regarding alleged fraud. This effectively cut off any ability to clarify confusing rules and or enhance fraud prevention measures. Importantly, it also prevented Governors and Adjutants General to execute their Constitutional duty of regulating their National Guard force and apply appropriate discipline (21). Likewise, notification the responsible contracting officer at NGB would have triggered remedial action. Instead, the CID sat on this information for five years, causing a relatively minor amount of confusion to escalate into what we have now – another major bonus scandal ensnaring thousands of junior Soldiers facing accusations.
19 2014 Inspector General Report, page 40, paragraph g, and footnote 142.
20 Presumably a licensed attorney.
21 The Governor’s and TAG’s Constitutional authority to regulate and discipline Guard members included the full time recruiting force in each state, some of whom were suspected of misconduct. These Soldiers operate under the exclusive military jurisdiction of the relevant State Military Code of Justice.
Few Soldiers have the financial resources to mount a proper defense to federal criminal charges. Faced with the possibility of prison time, many take a plea bargain to avoid the risk of prison, financial ruin or deepening emotional trauma to themselves and their families. Even if the accused Soldiers are not prosecuted, the collateral consequences seem never ending. The investigation will continue to haunt them for years to come. Security clearances will be revoked or suspended, and the Government will initiate proceedings to “debar” the Soldier from future employment as a government contractor. Eventually, the case file will be forwarded to the State National Guard headquarters for military justice or administrative action. The range of administrative sanctions includes separation boards, official reprimands and being required to rebut CID’s flawed conclusions to a promotion review board. The administrative flag on their personnel file will continue until all military administrative actions are complete (22). Finally, many of these same Soldiers, never prosecuted in a court of law will have a federal criminal history created as a result of being investigated, “titled” and “founded” by CID.
22 A “flag” prevents any favorable action including re-enlisting, awards, and promotions. The flag does not prevent orders to deploy overseas (again). Flags as a result of G-RAP investigations have been in place for four or more years at this point.
*Research not complete.
My experiences as a victim of crime in the United States military inspired me to do the work I do today as a military justice policy analyst. Not only did I witness first hand how a predator operates but I witnessed multiple predator types in real time while serving my country. If these people committed these acts of crimes at work in the civilian world, they would have been in jail or I would have been rich after taking my employer to civil court. Well maybe not because the deck is stacked against the accuser but we do in fact have a civilian justice system that allows us to hold others accountable, while it simultaneously protects the due process rights of the accused. This cannot be said of the military justice system. There is no guarantee a military Commander will do anything with a crime report let alone process the felony crime effectively. We do not want a justice system where one man or woman decides whether to do nothing, give a non judicial punishment for a felony crime, or railroad the accused or accuser. We do want a justice system where we can hold our employer accountable without roadblocks from the Pentagon, Congress, and the Feres Doctrine. We cannot effectively tackle the violent crime issue in the military until the victims of crimes, like sexual assault and domestic violence, feel safe enough to report. Crime victims have expressed that they do not want to report crimes to a Commander for fear of retaliation. The Department of Defense admitted that of those of who did report the crime, 62% perceived that they faced retaliation. If service members felt safe enough to report, it could help us prevent homicide, suicide, and non combat death.
If we think about violent crime committed by military personnel compared to violent crime statistics in the United States (reference above graph), at first glance it appears the military has a homicide ‘issue’ among the ranks. Please see the below links for a sample of crime on some of the U.S. military bases. All military bases worldwide will eventually be included in this research. And the research for sexual assault, rape, domestic violence, and physical assault specifically has not been conducted yet either. Because the research is far from being complete, it is too early to make any assumptions so I will put the data in one place and let you come to your own conclusions. But if military crime mirrors civilian crime statistics, one can deduce that if the military has a lot of homicide, there is even more rape. Currently the number one concern in the military is a Commander’s ability to give a non judicial punishment for a felony crime. A Commander can bypass the courts martial process simply by punishing and/or discharging the accused with a preponderance of the evidence. This does nothing to protect our military personnel and the civilians who live near our bases in America and worldwide. Predators do not discriminate. They are just as likely to harm civilians as they are military personnel. They know their rights and they know that jurisdiction issues and lack of communication among law enforcement agencies will help prolong getting caught. We need to be one step ahead.
We can’t get real violent crime numbers for the military bases unless we include those who died of non combat deaths while they were deployed. Veterans Noonie Fortin and Ann Wright inspired me to initially look into the non combat deaths of female soldiers overseas because they observed the unusually high number of female soldiers who died of non combat deaths during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their chief concern was that although the military labels a non combat death as a suicide, there are suspicions that some female soldiers were murdered, like LaVena Johnson, Amy Tirador, and Ciara Durkin. I did the research on every single female soldier who died from non combat deaths overseas and their concerns are valid. My research on non combat deaths in Iraq alone revealed that roughly 30% of female soldiers died as a result of homicide, suicide, and other unknown causes. I am working on collecting the data for male soldiers who died from non combat related injuries in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other areas. I started with 2010 so we can get the most recent cases but I will go back to September 11, 2001 in the next phase of data collection. The first male soldier non combat death case I found in 2010 was an unsolved homicide. His name was SSG Anton Phillips and he was stabbed to death in Afghanistan. Further research in this area has uncovered that non combat deaths of male soldiers are just as prevalent.
The US Military Recruited Violent Felons to Support the War Efforts
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Afghanistan)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Iraq)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Other Areas)
Violent Crime, Non Combat Death & Suicide at Fort Bragg, North Carolina (US Army)
Violent Crime, Non Combat Death & Suicide at Fort Campbell, Kentucky (US Army)
Violent Crime, Non Combat Death & Suicide at Fort Carson, Colorado (US Army)
Violent Crime, Non Combat Death & Suicide at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington
Violent Crime, Non Combat Death & Suicide at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas
Violent Crime at Fort Wainwright, Alaska (US Army)
Violent Crime at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska
A List of Soldiers Targeted & Murdered for the Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance Benefits
Rep Nikki Tsongas & Rep Mike Turner Host Educational Caucus: Improving Treatment Resources for Male Survivors of Military Sexual Trauma
An Open Letter to the Senate and House of Representatives in Support of the Military Justice Improvement Act
Letter of Support for Save Our Heroes in Our Shared Quest for Military Justice Reform & Constitutional Rights
October 1, 2016
U.S. House of Representatives
United States Senate
To Whom It May Concern:
This is a letter of support for Save Our Heroes. We recognized immediately that Save Our Heroes and victims of crimes both want similar changes in the military justice system. Save Our Heroes is asking for three specific legislative/policy changes to restore fundamental fairness in the military justice system:
1. Remove all Commanders authority from decision-making in the legal system.
2. The number of panel members should be increased to 12 for General Courts Martial.
3. Any conviction at Courts Martial shall require a unanimous verdict.
These requests by Save Our Heroes are similar to the overall changes that victims of crimes in the military have lobbied for, specifically that Commanders be removed from the reporting and decision-making process because of fear of bias, lack of investigative training, and the power to discharge and/or punish with the stroke of a pen. Save Our Heroes is requesting the same changes because ultimately both the victims and accused are looking for a military justice system that mirrors the civilian justice system while respecting the need of the Commanding Officer to ensure discipline is maintained within their command. We want a justice system where crimes are reported to legal authorities and not a Commander who is an authority figure with the power to impact your entire life. We want a justice system where crimes will be investigated thoroughly by unbiased military criminal investigative organizations looking for the truth. We want a justice system that provides the same constitutional rights as those provided in the civilian justice system. Save Our Heroes is specifically asking for changes that are commonplace in the civilian justice system, like a jury of twelve of our peers and a unanimous verdict. Our military deserves no less.
Victims of crimes in the military are asking for a military justice system that provides due process for the accuser and the accused. Crime victims want the ability to go to trial based on an independent prosecutor’s decision to charge because there was sufficient evidence to move forward with a case. Crime victims want those people who level false accusations, and engage in other abuses of the process, to be held accountable. While we recognize that false reports represent a small percentage of total reports (between 2-8 percent based on Bureau of Justice Statistics data), those who do falsely accuse are hurting the real victims of these crimes and should be held accountable through the same impartial military justice system. Both the accusers and the accused are asking for due process, which is best accomplished by a system that mirrors the civilian justice system. Currently, Commanders have control of the process when the accused, accuser, defense attorneys, and prosecutors should have control over the process.
Jennifer Norris, Military Justice for All
Stephanie Schroeder, US Human Rights Network & UN Board Member
Brian Lewis, Men Recovering from Military Sexual Trauma