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Ex-Army inspector accused of stealing identities of Army personnel

A former Fort Campbell inspector whose job was to investigate misconduct was charged Wednesday with stealing the identities of Army personnel, including a soldier killed in combat, in a scheme to obtain bank loans, federal authorities said.

A federal grand jury indictment alleges that James Robert Jones, 42, of Woodlawn, Tenn., used his position as an assistant inspector general at the Army post along the Kentucky-Tennessee line to obtain personal information of active-duty Army officers, some of whom were deployed to Afghanistan.

The indictment says he used the information -- including Social Security numbers and dates of birth -- to apply for loans in the officers' names. He successfully obtained fraudulent loans from two financial institutions, it said.

Among those targeted was an enlisted soldier who had been killed in combat in Afghanistan, the indictment said.

When confronted by investigators, Jones tried to conceal his role by falsely accusing a deceased Army officer of planning the scheme, according to the indictment.

"This defendant abused a position of trust and used his position to specifically target those who serve our country, including certain officers who were deployed overseas, when he stole their identities," Acting U.S. Attorney David Rivera said in announcing the indictment.

A phone number listed for Jones in Woodlawn had been disconnected and no other contact information could immediately be found.

Jones was indicted on charges of aggravated identity theft, bank fraud and making a false statement to a financial institution.

He's also charged with obstructing justice and making false statements to investigators. Those charges stem from allegations that Jones asked a colleague to delete information on his work computer in an alleged effort to impede the investigation, the indictment said.

Fort Campbell spokesman Bob Jenkins said the post was reviewing the indictment and would have no additional comment Wednesday evening.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Army Criminal Investigations Command.

"The Secret Service remains committed to fighting this type of financial fraud by pursuing individuals who obtain fraudulent loans using stolen identities, especially when the identities belong to members of our armed services," said Todd Hudson, special agent in charge of the Secret Service field office in Nashville.

If convicted, Jones faces up to 30 years in prison for the counts of bank fraud and making a false statement to a bank, along with an additional two years for each count of aggravated identity theft. Jones also faces up to 20 years if convicted of attempting to destroy records and five years for allegedly making false statements to investigators.

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