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Utah National Guard clarifies status of man charged in recruiting scandal

Published: Thursday, Aug. 14 2014 5:44 p.m. MDT

One of the four Utah men facing federal charges in a Army recruiting scandal is a current member of the Utah National Guard.

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SALT LAKE CITY — One of the four Utah men facing federal charges in an Army recruiting scandal is a current member of the Utah National Guard.

The guard didn't immediately know the status of Maj. Marc Lessor Cooper when told Wednesday he and three others were indicted for wire fraud and theft of government property.

Utah Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Steve Fairbourn issued a statement Thursday saying Cooper is a guard member. He said Cooper was not part of an 2010 internal investigation that resulted in Jesse Lee Howell and James Keith Summers being discharged.

"The Criminal Investigations Division, with their ongoing investigation and access to information, has broadened the scope of those potentially involved," Fairbourn said.

Howell, Summers, Cooper and Darron Terry Smith, who transferred to Tennessee, allegedly received thousands of dollars in recruiting bonuses for new soldiers they didn't recruit.

Smith is scheduled to appear in court Aug. 26. Howell, Summers and Cooper have Sept. 10 court dates.

The guardsmen allegedly defrauded the Guard Recruiter Assistance Program, or G-RAP, which has turned into one of the Army's largest financial scandals. The Army has opened nearly 600 investigations involving more than 1,200 people nationwide.

Email: romboy@deseretnews.com, Twitter: dennisromboy

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