A member of the U.S. Military from Texas has been ordered to serve prison time for his role in a fraudulent recruiting bonus scheme.

U.S. Army Specialist Richard Garcia of Kirby, Texas, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for his participation in a conspiracy to obtain approximately $244,000 in fraudulent recruiting referral bonuses from various U.S. military components.

The 29-year-old Garcia has also been sentenced to serve three years of supervised release, and has been ordered to pay $244,000 in restitution with co-conspirators.

Between 2005 and 2008, the U.S. Army, U.S. Army Reserves, and the National Guard Bureau entered into contracts to offer monetary incentives to soldiers who referred others to join the military.

Through these recruiting programs, a participating soldier could receive up to $2,000 in bonus payments for each person he referred to serve in the military.

Garcia admitted that he participated in a fraud scheme where active duty and civilian contract recruiters provided recruiting assistants and sponsors with names and social security numbers of “walk-in” soldiers – people who decided to join the military without being referred by anyone.

Garcia and a co-conspirator personally received around $13,000 in fraudulent recruiting referral bonuses.

So far, 10 people have been charged in this scheme, and all have pleaded guilty.