Det. 307 hosts fraud working group, strengthens partnerships

  • Published
  • By Thomas Brading
  • OSI Public Affairs

Earlier this month, OSI Det. 307 at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, hosted an Installation Fraud Working Group, but extended it into the Interagency highlighting the critical importance of collaboration.

The event brought in roughly 20 state and federal agents and attorneys from across New Jersey, and included discussions led by the Acquisition Fraud Counsel on fraud schemes and remedies, and a presentation from other federal law agencies linking counterintelligence indicators to fraud investigations.

These working groups unite investigators, auditors, prosecutors and contracting and civil engineering officials from an installation’s procurement community in a forum for information exchange, said Special Agent Rebecca Bates, OSI Det. 307 commander.

According to Bates, collaboration enhances the deterrence, detection, investigation, and prosecution of individuals and organizations committing fraud against the Department of the Air Force. Additionally, the group had the opportunity to tour a C-17 aircraft on the flight line, adding a unique aspect to the meeting.

“Several participants said, 'This is great. I've never been able to do anything like this before,’” she said. “Some of our Secret Service friends, who have spent half their lives on C-17s, could practically give the tour themselves, which was funny—but overall, everyone learned a lot.”

For Bates, the C-17 static display held a personal connection, as the tour was led by her husband, a C-17 pilot.

“Having my husband give the tour was special for me,” she said. “It was the first time our professional worlds collided, and we got to ‘Air Force’ together. It was a unique experience for both of us.”

OSI’s support to the Department of the Air Force extends far beyond investigating fraud and includes special investigative efforts in criminal investigations and counterintelligence activities. The C-17 is one of many airframes and flying missions the OSI supports each day.

Bates also highlighted the efforts of Special Agent Dwayne Simeon, who played a crucial role in organizing the event.

“Dwayne did an amazing job all around, to include coordinating and planning the event,” she said. “His dedication and hard work were instrumental in making this event a success.”

However, Bates said these events go beyond speeches and photo opportunities on the flight line. These gatherings provide a platform for shared experiences and chance to discuss real-world challenges.

It’s these personal connections and mutual understanding, she said, that become an invaluable resource for ongoing and future investigations.

For instance, after the meeting, one of the external agencies reached out to the OSI detachment to involve them in a fraud case with the potential to recover hundreds of thousands of dollars. Joint investigative efforts like this ensure that all possible actions—criminal, civil, contractual, and administrative—are swiftly determined, allowing procurement and command officials to implement the most effective remedies.

“Events like these are crucial to OSI’s ongoing efforts to combat fraud and protect our resources,” said Col. Brian Alexander, OSI Region 3 commander. “The success of this meeting highlights the importance of interagency partnerships and our collective commitment to integrity and accountability.”