Occupational Health & Safety

32-Month Sentence for EPA Employee's Fraud

John Beale, a former senior policy advisor in the agency's Office of Air and Radiation, had pleaded guilty to stealing government money. He has agreed to pay about $890,000 in restitution and about $500,000 to DOJ in criminal forfeiture.

John Beale, a former senior policy advisor in EPA's Office of Air and Radiation, has been sentenced to a 32-month prison term after pleading guilty to stealing government money from 2000 through 2013. He has agreed to pay about $890,000 in restitution and about $500,000 to the U.S. Department of Justice in criminal forfeiture.

Gina McCarthy, who was the assistant EPA administrator in charge of the Office of Air and Radiation and now is EPA's administrator, suspected Beale of wrongdoing and reported him to EPA's Office of General Counsel around Nov. 1, 2012. EPA's inspector general first learned of the allegations Feb. 11, 2013, and soon afterward began its investigation of Beale, according to congressional testimony by the inspector general, Arthur A. Elkins Jr., who presented the case to the U.S. attorney's office in Washington, D.C., leading to Beale's prosecution.

Beale "was erroneously paid a retention incentive bonus for 16 years that cost the government more than $500,000. In fact, his base pay and retention incentive bonus exceeded the statutory pay cap for federal employees at his pay grade for 4 years," Elkins testified. "We also found that John Beale was absent from work at EPA for long periods of time under the guise that he was working for the CIA. Also, while employed at the EPA, John Beale took many first-class domestic and international trips at the expense of the government."

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