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Oct 27, 2016 7:30 PM

National Guard bonuses audited in NH, other states


CONCORD—The N.H. National Guard identified three cases of improper bonuses the Guard wrongly paid over a 10-year span during the height of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

National Guard units in all 50 states received a national directive to investigate bonus payments after a California National Guard master sergeant pleaded guilty in 2012 to approving more than $15 million in fraudulent claims, according to the Union Leader.

Lt. Col. Greg Heilshorn, public affairs officer for the NH Guard, told the Union Leader on Wednesday that only one of the three soldiers was ordered to pay back the money — a $20,000 enlistment bonus received in 2007 by a soldier who did not complete basic training.

There were 382 soldiers ordered to repay their bonus because the soldier had not met the terms of the agreement for various reasons like including being absent for drills, alcohol or drug violations or failing a physical fitness test.

Heilshorn said the 2002-2012 audit also revealed the three cases where the Guard erroneously issued bonuses, including the one where the soldier was ordered to pay the $20,000 enlistment bonus.

The other two cases were resolved without the Pentagon seeking repayment. Heilshorn said a $15,000 bonus issued in 2004 should have been only $5,000, but the 10-year statute of limitations had expired.

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