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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Alabama

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 10, 2013

Prattville Man Defrauds Air Force

Montgomery, Alabama - James Robert Whitaker, 60, of Prattville, Alabama was sentenced today to 5 years’ probation, $5,000 fine; and $90,356.00 restitution, announced George L. Beck, Jr., United States Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama. Whitaker was a retired Air Force Officer and a civil service employee, of Prattville, Alabama.

On October 16, 2012, Whitaker pled guilty to one count of participating in an act which affected a personal financial interest. Whitaker, while working at the Air Force Legal Operating Agency, directed Air Force JAG officers to stay at local hotels at a higher monetary rate, when housing was available on Maxwell Air Force Base at a much lower rate. As a result, Whitaker received a total of 587,282 Marriott reward points. Whitaker also received an additional 100,000 reward points for other room arrangements. The U.S. Air Force suffered a loss of $90,356.00.

According to U.S. Attorney Beck, “The law is in place to ensure proper handling of government funds and prevent government employees from making transactions based on benefitting themselves instead of the government. My office will prosecute those who use their position with the government to profit illegally.”

This case was investigated by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Don Valeska.

PRESS CONTACT: Clark Morris
Email: usaalm.press@usdoj.gov
Telephone: (334) 551-1755
Fax: (334) 223-7617

Updated March 12, 2015