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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 30, 2012

Roanoke Woman Sentenced On Embezzlement Charge

Diane Holdren Sentenced To Four Months Incarceration, Four Months Home Confinement

ROANOKE, VIRGINIA -- A local interior designer, previously hired by Valley Metro to replace office furniture at its downtown facility in Roanoke, was sentenced this afternoon in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Roanoke on embezzlement charges.

Diane Bogaty Holdren, 51, of Roanoke, Va., previously waived her right to be indicted and pled guilty to one count of willfully and knowingly embezzling money from the United States Department of Transportation. The afternoon, Holdren was sentenced to four months of incarceration and four months of home confinement. In addition, Holdren was ordered to pay a $3,000 fine and restitution in the amount of $45,728.

“By submitting inflated bids to Valley Metro, Mrs. Holdren defrauded American taxpayers to line her own pockets,” United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today. “On multiple occasions, Ms. Holdren submitted falsified information in a scheme to enrich herself with government money and for that she has been justly punished today for her repeated acts of deception. This United States Attorney’s Office will hold accountable all individuals who misuse government grant funds.”

In 2006, Valley Metro was awarded an $80,000 grant from the United States Department of Transportation to replace furniture at the company’s downtown Roanoke administration building. Valley Metro hired Holdren, a local interior designer, to complete the project.

Holdren previously admitted that she fabricated and submitted multiple bids of furniture vendors to Valley Metro in relation to the project. The defendant admitted to fabricating and inflating all vendor bids, thus guaranteeing that Valley Metro would have to pay more than the true costs associated with the project. Following Valley Metro’s acceptance of the bids, Holdren submitted inflated invoices related to the bids that included inflated and nonexistent shipping costs.

Subsequently, Valley Metro paid the furniture vendors directly based on the inflated bills it had received from the defendant. The vendors then issued checks back to Holdren for the difference between the true costs and the costs paid by Valley Metro that were based on the defendant’s deceptions. In all, the total loss caused by the defendant’s actions is between $80,000 and $120,000.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the United States Department of Transportation. Assistant United States Attorneys Charlene Day and C. Patrick Hogeboom III are prosecuting the case for the United States.

Updated April 14, 2015