Former Department of Health and Human Services Employee Pleads Guilty in Washington to Wire Fraud Charge in Retention Bonus Scheme
An employee of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (HHS-ASPR) pleaded guilty today in Washington, D.C., to defrauding the United States by submitting fraudulent employment offers in order to claim retention bonuses totaling $138,875, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division .
Michael A. Balady , 62, of Springfield, Va., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras in the District of Columbia to a criminal information charging him with one count of wire fraud.
According to court documents, Balady worked in the HHS-ASPR first as the director of acquisition management systems in ASPR’s Biological Advanced Research and Development Authority and later as the acting director of ASPR’s Office of Acquisitions, Management, Contracts and Grants. As part of his plea, Balady admitted that he conspired with an employee of a communications firm based in Alexandria, Va., to fabricate employment offers for a position with that firm in order to justify retention bonuses paid to him by HHS. Retention bonuses are monetary incentives paid by HHS to employees deemed essential to its mission who would be likely to leave in the absence of such a bonus.
From 2009 until 2012, Balady improperly received retention bonus payments totaling $94,940. In June 2012, HHS approved another retention bonus in the amount of $38,875, but that bonus was never paid to Balady. As part of the plea agreement, Balady resigned from HHS and has agreed to pay restitution to HHS in the amount of $94,940.
At sentencing, scheduled for June 12, 2013, Balady faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Richard B. Evans and Mark Angehr of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section, and is being investigated by the HHS Office of the Inspector General.