Former U.S. Army Sergeant Sentenced for Bank Fraud

Published 6:52 am Thursday, April 21, 2022

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NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – JOSHUA HOCKLESS, age 29, a resident of Belle Chasse, was sentenced to 27 months imprisonment and 3 years of supervised release by the Honorable Sarah S. Vance, announced U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans.  Also, the Court ordered HOCKLESS to pay a $100 mandatory special assessment fee and $138,859.21 in restitution to the United Services Automobile Association Federal Savings Bank (USAA).

According to court records, HOCKLESS was an Army Sergeant in the Headquarters Company, 377th Theater Sustainment Command, Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Belle Chasse. HOCKLESS had a bank account at USAA and learned that USAA allowed service members to withdraw deposits before the funds formally cleared the issuing bank. Knowing this, HOCKLESS opened bank accounts at third-party banks with minimal funding, made online wire transfers from those banks to USAA, and withdrew the deposits from USAA before it detected that there were insufficient funds in the issuing bank account. HOCKLESS obtained approximately $36,119.47 as a result of these fraudulent transfers between his accounts. HOCKLESS then asked other enlisted personnel to open USAA and third-party bank accounts.  The other enlisted personnel then shared with HOCKLESS, their online banking passwords. HOCKLESS used these passwords to make similar fraudulent transfers to their USAA accounts and instructed them when to withdraw the cash to split with HOCKLESS. These transfers resulted in approximately $102,739.74 being fraudulently withdrawn from USAA – approximately half of which ($51,369.57) was received by HOCKLESS.

U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the Army Criminal Investigations Command. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney G. Dall Kammer, Chief of the General Crimes Unit.