There’s No Fraud Like EPA Fraud

Beale EPA Fraud

A former high-ranking U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official who pretended to be a CIA agent to avoid work was sentenced to 32 months in prison on Wednesday.

John Beale, 65, began his EPA trickery back in 2000 when he started telling people he needed to take off one workday a week for CIA missions. The former EPA senior policy adviser continued to take enjoy his paid one day vacations until 2008, when he decided he needed a bit more time. So he took off for about six months, telling managers and employees he was working on the research project or working for “Langley,” where the CIA is based.

When asked what he was doing when he claimed he was working for the CIA, Beale said, “I spent time exercising. I spent a lot of time working on my house.” Huh. That sounds like the opposite of exciting, top secret CIA missions.

But taking time off work wasn’t Beale’s only fraud-related activity. He also made the EPA pay for first class plane fare every time he travelled because of a “back injury” – including five trips to Los Angeles for purely personal reasons.  The court documents revealed that one flight to London cost taxpayers $14,000, when a coach ticket would have cost just $1,000.

Beale also received a special handicap parking space at the EPA, worth $8,000 over three years, by claiming he contracted malaria while in the U.S. Army in Vietnam. Note: Beale never served in Vietnam and has never had malaria.

Beale decided to retire in 2011, telling his EPA coworkers that the CIA needed him. However, he kept drawing his large paycheck for another eighteen months. By the time he “officially retired” in April after learning the feds were on to him, Beale was earning a salary and bonuses of $206,000 a year, making him the highest paid official at the EPA. But eventually, after 12 years of “secret CIA missions” and indulgent expense reports, Beale got caught.

In September, Beale pleaded guilty to defrauding the U.S. government out of nearly $900,000 and this week he was ordered to pay back the money and also agreed to forfeit about $507,000 more. In addition, he received a sentence of 32 months in prison for stealing government property.

 “Why did I do this? Greed – simple greed – and I’m ashamed of that greed,” Beale told the court.

Well, at least he’s being honest. Now….

Via: NBC News

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