Not Keeping Her Promise

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Young casual woman with laptop and tablet outdoors. Female student preparing for exams with computer, books and coffee in the park. Education and entering the university concept, crop, copy space.

Upon completing boot camp, a soldier makes an oath to protect and defend the country. It is called the Oath of Enlistment. Somewhere along the way U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Dara Buck forgot that promise and ended up operating a twofold fraud. First, to steal from the U.S. government’s Covid-19 Paycheck Protection Program and then to secure the fraudulent discharge of federal student loans using falsified disability claims for non-veterans. On July 15, 2022, Buck pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States.

From August 2017 through May 2021 Buck submitted more than 150 false loan applications to the Small Business Administration for herself and others. With this conspiracy, Buck made more than $3.5 million in fraudulent payments from banks to conspirators. She was then paid by the co-conspirators for her services.

These same co-conspirators also paid her to submit falsified US Department of Veterans Affairs certifications for total and permanent disability to the U.S Department of Education to qualify for Total and Permanent Disability Discharge from loan responsibility. Someone in the office wasn’t fact checking the submitted paperwork because none of the applicants that Buck submitted for were disabled or veterans. Buck secured the discharge of more than a dozen students loans totaling more than $1 million.

Sentencing in this case has yet to be scheduled.

Great job by all in this investigation including U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division, the U.S. Department of Education Office of Inspector General; and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Today’s fraud is based on an article posted in the Savannah News on July 16, 2022

Fort Stewart soldier faces 5 years in prison for leading COVID-19 fraud scheme

by: Joseph Leonard

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — A Fort Stewart soldier faces up to five years in prison for her involvement in a COVID-19 relief scheme.

Dara Buck, 39, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, according to David H. Estes, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. Buck, along with others, illegally obtained millions from COVID-19 relief programs and federal student loan forgiveness, Estes said.  If convicted, the U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 will also have to pay financial penalties, restitution and three years of supervised release.

 

 

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.