NEW YORK — An Army National Guard soldier who works as a jail guard in New York City was arrested in Texas on charges that he lied about his military service to get extra government benefits, authorities announced Wednesday.
Shawn Pierre Hobbs, 34, was arrested Monday on wire fraud and aggravated identity theft charges lodged in Manhattan federal court. The wire fraud charges carries a potential penalty of up to 20 years in prison while aggravated identity theft can result in a mandatory two-year prison term.
Federal agents have seized more than 20 vehicles and the money from 10 bank accounts belonging to married U.S. Army veterans in Texas, saying the pair used personal information stolen from soldiers to defraud the military out of as much as $11 million.
It was not immediately clear who will represent the soldier at an initial court appearance in El Paso, Texas, where he was arrested.
Hobbs has been in the Connecticut Army National Guard since 2015 and has been employed as a correction officer at Rikers Island since January 2019.
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In a release, U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss in Manhattan said Hobbs forged the signatures of colleagues on documents to make it seem he deserved veterans benefits for hundreds of hours of work he did not perform.