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FBI: Man Provides False Qualifications, Hired by Crystal Lake-Based Charity to Help Free Somalia Hostages

A federal grand jury this past week indicted a 34-year-old California man in Rockford for allegations he defrauded Crystal Lake-based International Aid Services-USA Inc. out of $30,000. 

William J. Burley, of Yucaipa, Calif., is charged with three counts of wire fraud in the case. 

Authorities say Burley provided false qualifications to be hired by IAS and IAS America for a job that required him to travel to Somalia to try and rescue three IAS employee who had been kidnapped, according to a Federal Bureau of Investigation press release. 

He told IAS, according to the allegations, he was a highly decorated Navy SEAL; to have graduated from the Universities of Delaware and Maryland; to have attended numerous training facilities; to have been a consultant for the Navy, Department of Defense, and State Department; and to have been a law enforcement officer.

The workers were kidnapped in July 2012 and Burley was sent to Somalia about a month after to try and "try to find the workers, but provided little help," according to the Chicago Tribune. Company officials began checking further into his credentials in fall 2012 and learned of the discrepancies. 

Burley received a total of $30,000 in the form of three wire transfers sent from the Crystal Lake Bank and Trust to the Bank of America in Redlands, Calif., in August 2012, according to the FBI news release. 

Charity officials said representatives are continuing to work to try and help free the hostages, according to the Chicago Tribune. 

If convicted, Burley could face up to 20 years in prison on each count of wire fraud, according to the FBI. 

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