Prosecutors demand at least 30 months in prison for fraud by EPA's highest-paid employee, a global warming expert
What do you call a prison term for a top EPA global warming expert convicted of fraud? How about a good start? In this instance, the fraud is not the global warming con game, but rather the selling of a ludicrous tale of working for the CIA, and charging first class travel and five star hotel stays for personal trips, while not doing any work for his employer.
Michael Isikoff of NBC reports:
The EPA's highest-paid employee and a leading expert on climate change deserves to go to prison for at least 30 months for lying to his bosses and saying he was a CIA spy working in Pakistan so he could avoid doing his real job, say federal prosecutors.
John C. Beale, who pled guilty in September to bilking the government out of nearly $1 million in salary and other benefits over a decade, will be sentenced in a Washington, D.C., federal court on Wednesday. In a newly filed sentencing memo, prosecutors said that his "historic" lies are "offensive" to those who actually do dangerous work for the CIA.
Beale's superiors at the EPA have now demonstrated conclusively that will buy into absurd fraudulent stories, which may help explain, but not justify, their acceptance of the Al Gore global warming fraud, which has bilked billions, not the paltry million or so bucks the warmist Beale euchred out of taxpayers.
Beale's bosses at the EPA are themselves guilty of such stunning neglect as to discredit the agency:
Two new reports by the EPA inspector general's office conclude that top officials at the agency "enabled" Beale by failing to verify any of his phony cover stories about CIA work, and failing to check on hundreds of thousands of dollars paid him in undeserved bonuses and travel expenses -- including first-class trips to London where he stayed at five-star hotels and racked up thousands in bills for limos and taxis.
Until he retired in April after learning he was under federal investigation, Beale, an NYU grad with a masters from Princeton, was earning a salary and bonuses of $206,000 a year, making him the highest paid official at the EPA. He earned more money than Gina McCarthy, the agency's administrator and, for years, his immediate boss, according to agency documents.
In September, Beale, who served as a "senior policy adviser" in the agency's Office of Air and Radiation, pled guilty to defrauding the U.S. government out of nearly $900,000 since 2000. Beale perpetrated his fraud largely by failing to show up at the EPA for months at a time, including one 18-month stretch starting in June 2011 when he did "absolutely no work," as Kern, Beale's lawyer, acknowledged in his court filing.
Beale's frauds were not limited to his hokey CIA escapade:
In 2008, Beale didn't show up at the EPA for six months, telling his boss that he was part of a special multi-agency election-year project relating to "candidate security." He billed the government $57,000 for five trips to California that were made purely "for personal reasons," his lawyer acknowledged. (His parents lived there.) He also claimed to be suffering from malaria that he got while serving in Vietnam. According to his lawyer's filing, he didn't have malaria and never served in Vietnam. He told the story to EPA officials so he could get special handicap parking at a garage near EPA headquarters.
The EPA is demonstrably negligent is conserving taxpayer dollars, in other ways as well:
...one of the reports states, Beale took 33 airplane trips between 2003 and 2011, costing the government $266,190. On 70 percent of those, he travelled first class and stayed at high end hotels, charging more than twice the government's allowed per diem limit. But his expense vouchers were routinely approved by another EPA official, a colleague of Beale's, whose conduct is now being reviewed by the inspector general, according to congressional investigators briefed on the report.
Somehow the guidelines didn't apply to him? This bespeaks an agency culture that lavishes upon its members all kinds of perks that they do not deserve. Even worse, Beale was actually able to collect his salary after he retired!
Beale was caught when he "retired" very publicly but kept drawing his large salary for another year and a half. Top EPA officials, including McCarthy, attended a September 2011 retirement party for Beale and two colleagues aboard a Potomac yacht. Six months later, McCarthy learned he was still on the payroll
I look forward to the promised forthcoming inspector general reports. But frankly, I do not expect any heads to roll at the agency. But I will keep Mr. Beale in mind as I struggle to pay my taxes.