Wednesday, May 3, 2006
Sometimes one may wonder what type of corporate compliance program the government has when activities such as follows can occur for several years.
Fraud Update links here to a press release of the Maryland USA who reports on the sentencing of a former employee of NASA. The press release states in part that:
From 1996-2005, Harrison prepared a series of NASA purchase orders payable to some variation of “The Franklin Thomas Group.” Harrison subsequently certified that services or goods had been received from “The Franklin Thomas Group,” and assisted Thomas in providing the documentation required by NASA to process payment. As a result of the fraudulent representations and documentation provided by Harrison and Thomas, wire transfers in the total amount of $194,749.98 were sent from the United States Treasury to Thomas’s personal bank account. Thomas and Harrison shared in the proceeds.
During 2004-2005, Thomas processed 11 SSA payments to Harrison. Using a manual override computer function, Thomas instructed the SSA system to make payments to “Andrea Harrison, attorney for [claimant].” Harrison is not licensed to practice law and did not represent any claimants before the SSA. As a result of the computer entries by Thomas, checks totaling $52,534.50 were mailed via the United States Postal Service to Andrea Harrison at her home address. Harrison cashed and/or deposited those checks at her personal banks and shared the proceeds with Thomas."
The sentence against Harrison, the former NASA employee, was "18 months in prison and 12 months of home detention on electronic monitoring, followed by 3 years of supervised release" There was also restitution "in the amount of $247,284.48." Co-defendant Thomas, who was employed by Social Security Administration, "was [previously] sentenced to 18 months in prison followed by 12 months of home detention on electronic monitoring." For both the charges were mail and wire fraud.