Crime

Killeen Couple Fesses Up to Multi-Million Dollar Army Swindle at Fort Hood

FORT HOOD, Texas — A Killeen couple admitted to conducting a multi-million dollar scheme to defraud the U.S. Army through a mass transportation benefit program at Fort Hood, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office – Western District of Texas. 

Kevin Romulus Pelayo, 42, and Cristine Furio Fredericks, 37, pleaded guilty to two counts of engaging in monetary transactions with criminally derived property, the USAO said in a release. Pelayo also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

By pleading guilty, Pelayo and Fredericks admitted that from January 2014 to June 2020, they provided false documentation regarding their ride-share program on Fort Hood, called Soldiers Vanpools, LLC, including names and other personal information of over 1,000 unsuspecting active-duty soldiers, in order to fraudulently collect Department of Transportation Mass Transportation Benefit Program funds.

The transportation benefit program was implemented by the Department of Army in 2001 for soldiers and civilian employees. It was implemented as part of 2000 presidential executive order directing federal agencies to put in place a transportation benefit program for qualified federal employees for individual commuting costs incurred through the use of mass transportation or van pools. 

The two face up to 10 years in federal prison for each money laundering charge. Pelayo faces up to 20 years in federal prison for the conspiracy charge. 

According to the USAO, the two have agreed to forfeit to the government proceeds of their fraudulent scheme to include a dozen real estate properties in Killeen, Harker Heights, Copperas Cove and Kempner; 43 automobiles, SUVs, ATVs and a 5th-wheel trailer; over 120 designer tote bags, handbags and wallets; and more than $600,000 in cash. 

Sentencing has yet to be scheduled.

Written by 6 News Digital

Categories: Crime

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