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National Guard member sentenced in recruitment scam

A National Guard recruiter who stole recruitment-incentive money was sentenced to three years of probation and 50 hours of community service at a hearing today in Burlington County Superior Court.

Gregory Fletcher, 33, of Lower Township, Cape May County, also was ordered by Judge Jeanne T. Covert to make restitution of $8,500.

Fletcher admitted on Oct. 26 that he had defrauded the Guard Recruiting Assistance Program (GRAP), which provides cash to part-time soldiers who get others to join the National Guard. Fletcher pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree theft by deception.

Under the federal program, a part-time soldier who registers as a recruiting assistant is paid $1,000 for each person he gets to enlist. An additional $1,000 is paid if the recruit enters basic training.

Full-time soldiers such as Fletcher are ineligible for the funds.

An investigation by State Police and the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice revealed that Fletcher accessed or created GRAP accounts for three part-time soldiers and submitted false information indicating they had referred eight recruits. Fletcher provided his bank account number in order to have the incentives deposited directly to himself, according to authorities.

GRAP is administered by a private corporation, Document and Packaging Brokers, Inc., which notified authorities after it became aware of the irregularities.