The trial for former Guam Homeland Security Advisor Ambrosio Constantino and Guard member Lt. Col. Franklin Babauta have been canceled to make room for a hearing on a motion to dismiss.
Guam – The trial for two Guard National Guard members in the Guard Recruitment fraud case have been canceled in order to make room for a hearing on motions to dismiss.
A trial brief was filed in Distrct Court with details of the alleged conspiracy that former Homeland Security Advisor Ambrosio Constantino and Guard Member Lt. Col. Frankline Babauta were involved in. However, the trial date was canceled.
Instead Chief District Court Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood has scheduled a hearing to hear arguments on motions to dismiss the fraud charges.
Constantino and Babauta are accused of falsely claiming bonuses under the Guard Recruiting Assistance Program, or GRAP. The program was created in 2005 at the height of the War on Terror to boost enlistment numbers in the Guard. Under the program, Recruiter Assistants were paid up to $2,000 for every soldier they helped enlist.
According to court papers, the soldier the defendant’s claimed a bonus for was Babauta’s son. While Babauta says he spoke to his son about the benefits of joining the guard, the US Attorney’s Office says the GRAP claim was not filed until after Babauta’s son had already enlisted.
Furthermore, the US Attorney’s Office says that when Babauta tried to claim the bonus for his son, he was “blocked” because he was an officer on active duty. Instead, court papers says, an employee of the Guard who was a regular recruiter “allegedly suggested that the defendant Babauta persuade a National Guardsman who had not been activated to assist in this fraudulent plan.”
So Babauta asked his colleague Constantino, who at the time, was working in the same unit. “Defendant Constantino agreed to participate in this conspiracy to fraudulently obtain G-RAP funds by wrongfully entering [his son’s] personal identifier information into the G-RAP computer system as if the defendant Constantino had been the Recruiter Assistant who had recruited Babauta’s [son],” court papers state.
Trial was originally scheduled for August 10, but that has been canceled so that Judge Gatewood can hear the motion for dismissal on August 31st.
You can read the trial brief online by clicking on the file below.