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Prosecutors troubled by extent of military fraud

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Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - Fabian Barrera found a way to make fast cash in the Texas National Guard, earning $181,000 for claiming to have steered 119 potential recruits to the military.

But the bonuses were ill-gotten because the former captain never actually referred anyone.

The case is an example of what prosecutors describe as a recurring pattern of corruption covering a cross section of the military.

The U.S. has spent freely to support wars on multiple fronts, and prosecutors say they've found plentiful targets: people who bill for services they do not provide, who steer lucrative contracts to select business partners and who use bribes to game a vast military enterprise.

Despite numerous cases that have produced prison sentences, the problems have continued abroad and at home with a frequency that officials consider troubling.

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