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News | Nov. 9, 2023

Operation Free Ride - Army CID Leads a Joint Operation in Hawaii

By The Department of the Army Criminal Investigation Division #23-17

Special Agents from the Department of the Army Criminal Investigation Division’s Pacific Field Office led a joint law enforcement operation called Operation Free Ride, November 7.

The operation targeted four Hawaii-based individuals accused of defrauding the Army of approximately 2.6 million dollars.

Search warrants were executed in four different residences connected to the vanpool transportation company Eco Ride LLC, formerly known as KAK Vanpool Services LLC, by Army CID, the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General, the FBI, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the Honolulu Police Department, and members of the Hawaii Financial Crimes Task Force.

It is alleged that the individuals owned and operated a van pool transportation company involved in a scheme to defraud the Army through its participation in the Mass Transportation Benefits Program, a Department of Transportation led subsidy program aimed at reducing pollution and traffic congestion and expanding transportation alternatives for military and federal employees.

The subjects of Operation Free Ride, three of which are retired Army Soldiers, are accused of using their positions and connections to coerce hundreds of Soldiers into applying for transportation benefits and then diverting the proceeds resulting in the commission of wire fraud, mail fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering.

If you feel that you may have been a victim of this scheme, or you would like to provide Army CID with information to aid in this investigation, contact the Army CID Pacific Field Office at 808-787-8104.

Anonymous tips can also be submitted through the Army CID Submit-a-Tip online form at Persons wishing to remain anonymous are encouraged to provide credible information which will be held in the strictest confidence allowable.