Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel Pleads Guilty to Submitting Fraudulent Travel Vouchers Totaling Nearly $152,000
Defrauded Army While Serving As Attorney on Active Duty
Greenbelt, Maryland - Kenneth J. Morilak, age 43, of Germantown, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to submitting false claims to the government in connection with vouchers submitted for his official government travel.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Brigadier General Colleen L. McGuire, Provost Marshal General of the Army and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command.
According to Morilak’s plea agreement, beginning in October 2003, Morilak, then a Major in the U.S. Army Reserve Judge Advocate General’s Corps living in Tampa, Florida, was ordered to temporary active duty at the Pentagon. Morilak was entitled to reimbursement for actual lodging expenses he incurred, however according to the statement of facts, from October 2003 and continuing during other temporary duty in Washington, D.C., until August 2007, each month Morilak submitted fraudulently inflated travel claims for lodging totaling more than $152,000.
According to the plea, when Morilak first arrived in the Washington, D.C. area, he stayed with his fianceé at her apartment in Greenbelt, Maryland. In order to evade the restriction on reimbursement for lodging provided by friends or family members, Morilak submitted a lease for $600 per week, purporting to be between him and K2 Holdings, a Florida corporation Morilak established for his fianceé in September 2003. K2 Holdings never held any interest in the apartment, which was owned solely by Morilak’s fianceé. Later during his tour of duty, Morilak filed another travel voucher which included a letter, purporting to be from K2 Holdings indicating that the company had sold the Greenbelt apartment and was moving him to a property in Germantown, Maryland, for $750 per week. The letter was signed by a friend of Morilak’s fianceé, who also owned the home in Germantown. The friend was allowing Morilak and his fianceé to stay at the home. Morilak’s duty order expired on March 8, 2004, and he and his fianceé returned to Tampa.
Morilak and his now-wife returned to the D.C. area for another active duty tour in October 2004, and Morilak began submitting monthly travel claims based on leases with a fictitious company, Lotus Flower Property Management. Morilak generated supporting documents that were submitted with the claim,which showed that Morilak was paying Lotus Flower $3,690 per month rent from October 2004 through March 15, 2005. In fact, Morilak and his wife had rented an apartment for $1,085 per month. In March 2005, Morilak and his wife moved to another apartment which they rented for $1,449 per month. Morilak submitted travel claims including a document purporting to modify the existing lease with Lotus Flower and increasing the monthly rental rate to $4,500 per month. In August 2005, Morilak and his wife moved to a property in Germantown, Maryland which they rented for $1,650 per month. Morilak again submitted a travel voucher with a fraudulent lease addendum purporting to be from Lotus Flower, increasing the monthly rent to $4,750 per month. Morilak continued to make monthly fraudulent travel claims on the Germantown property through the expiration of his active duty orders in August 2007.
The total amount paid to Morilak based on the fraudulent vouchers was approximately $152,000.
Morilak faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison. U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus has scheduled sentencing for March 25, 2011 at 9:00 a.m.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended Army CID for its work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Adam K. Ake, who is prosecuting the case.