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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Idaho

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 25, 2013

BLM Employee Sentenced For Theft Of Government Property

Court Orders $71,973 in Restitution

BOISE – Katrina Telleria, 35, of Boise, Idaho, was sentenced today to 12 months in prison for theft of government property, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill also ordered Telleria to serve three years of supervised release and pay restitution of $71,973 to the Bureau of Land Management. On December 17, 2012, Telleria pleaded guilty to three counts of theft of government gift cards, one count of making a false statement to a department or agency of the United States, and one count of theft of government electronics equipment.

According to the plea agreement, from 2008 to 2011, Telleria was employed as a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) administrative assistant authorized to use a government-issued MasterCar to make purchases for office supplies, firefighting operations, and administrative purposes, including an incentive gift card program in the BLM’s Boise District Office Fire Program. According to the plea agreement, the gift cards purchased by Telleria were to be distributed to district office fire supervisors to give as an award to employees. Telleria instead used her government-issued MasterCard to purchase “general-use gift cards” (American Express cards, Visa cards, and cards issued by MasterCard), which she then stole and appropriated to her own personal use. According to the plea agreement, Telleria admitted that on at least 38 occasions, she acquired the general-use gift cards and specific electronic items on her government MasterCard, and then stole the gift cards and the electronic property. Telleria further agreed that total gift card losses to the government amount to $71,973. The government will receive full restitution under the court’s order.

“Ms. Telleria violated her public trust for personal gain,” said Olson. “Her conviction and sentence sends the strong message that those responsible for government resources have an obligation to all taxpayers to act solely in the public interest. I commend the BLM for a strong investigation.”

“After a thorough investigation by BLM's Law Enforcement Office and the U.S. Attorney's Office, a government employee has been convicted for the fraudulent diversion of government funds,” said BLM State Director Steve Ellis. “I am proud of the diligence and hard work of these law enforcement officers and the hundreds of BLM employees who serve in Idaho. That any governmen employee would consider their own personal gain ahead of their solemn public trust is unfortunate. This investigation and its outcome show that as public servants we will neither whitewash nor tolerate employee conduct that diverts public funds for personal gain.”

The case was investigated by the BLM's Office of Law Enforcement and Security.