A man who recruited language interpreters for the U.S. military was indicted on charges that he knowingly recruited unqualified people to be deployed with American combat forces in Afghanistan, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Abdul Aman, 34, of Fairfax, Virginia was charged in the District of Maryland on Wednesday with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud and one count of major fraud against the United States, according to the indictment.
He is scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday.
Aman was employed by a U.S. government contractor that had received a multi-million dollar defense contract to identify and recruit qualified linguists proficient in Dari and Pashto — the two official and most widely-spoken languages in Afghanistan.
However, from March 2011 to May 2012, he recruited individuals who did not meet the minimum language proficiency standard, and then he had a close associate impersonate the candidates and complete the interviews designed to assess linguistic abilities on behalf of the candidates, according to the indictment.
Aman received $250 to $2,500 in “recruiting bonuses” based on how far he could move a candidate through the vetting process. He also obtained $5,000 to $7,000 in “referral bonuses” if the candidate was hired and deployed to Afghanistan.
The recruiting occurred at the height of the deployment of U.S. forces in Afghanistan in 2011, when there were approximately 100,000 troops there.
The indictment does not if any of Aman’s interpreters ever deployed with American troops, but all candidates would have had to undergo additional language testing and training at a pre-deployment processing center in Maryland before heading overseas.