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October 20, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
POOLE AND KENT ADMINISTRATION MANAGER PLEADS GUILTY TO CONCEALING FRAUDULENT EXPENSE REPORTS
BALTIMORE, Maryland -Jeanie Ashfield-Testa, age 63, of Ashburn, Virginia, pleaded guilty today to affirmatively concealing a felony from federal law enforcement, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
According to the plea agreement presented to the court, Ashfield-Testa was manager of administration for the Poole and Kent Corporation, a commercial mechanical contracting company located in Baltimore. She reported directly to an officer of Poole and Kent, and personally handled that officer’s expense reports, requests for reimbursement, business and personal finances.
From 1999 to March 2005, the officer submitted false expense claims to Poole and Kent. The officer repeatedly directed his office staff to make, and then later cancel, travel arrangements for him and for other Poole and Kent employees, thereby generating both charges and corresponding credits on his American Express billing statements. At the officer’s direction, Ashfield-Testa altered copies of the American Express statements so that only the charges, and not their corresponding credited amounts, were reflected on the statements. The officer then instructed Ashfield-Testa to list the cancelled charges as business expenditures for which the officer should be reimbursed.
Ashfield-Testa was also instructed to inflate claims on the officer’s expense reports in various other ways, such as changing the dollar amounts and dates on credit card statements and falsely listing the officer’s personal purchases as business-related expenses on the reports. As a result of these false expense claims, Poole and Kent paid the officer more than $261,000 for “business expenses” that had never actually been incurred.
On October 21, 2003, Ashfield-Testa gave an interview to FBI and other law enforcement agents. She indicated that the Pool and Kent officer charged travel and other expenses on an American Express credit card, that she prepared the officer’s expense reports and that she handled the payments for that credit card account. Ashfield-Testa did not tell the interviewing agents about the false expense reports.
On October 13 and November 17, 2004, Ashfield-Testa testified before a federal grand jury.
She did not disclose the fraudulent expense reports or her role in altering the American Express statements.
Ashfield-Testa faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison followed by one year of supervised release.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the investigative work performed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kathleen O. Gavin and Michael J. Leotta, who are prosecuting the case.
This page last modifiedOctober 20, 2006