News

Former National Archives Government Employee Sentenced to Jail in Scheme to Steal Nearly $1 Million from the Government


Scheme Used Sham Companies With No Offices or Employees

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 29, 2010

Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. sentenced James Clay Whitson, age 45, of Notthingham, Maryland to 15 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiracy in connection with a scheme to steal money from the National Archives and Records Administration (the Archives). Judge Williams also issued an order of restitution of $958,280.64, the amount Whitson stole.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Aaron Collins, of the Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General; and the National Archives and Records Administration Office of Inspector General.

According to Whitson’s plea agreement, Whitson was a property management specialist for the Archives’ facility located in College Park, Maryland. Whitson was issued a government purchase card to use for vendor purchases for the Archives. Co-conspirator Robert Caleb McCray a/k/a Kelly McCray was a manager at a company which had a government contract to provide facility management at this Archives facility. McCray supervised the Archives loading dock.

From July 2002 to September 2006, Whitson used his government purchase card to pay three purported businesses operated by McCray for goods and services that these entities never provided, or provided at inflated prices. McCray’s businesses did not have any offices or employees. Their addresses were listed as McCray’s residences or a post office box rented by him.

For example, Whitson used his government card to pay $50,000 to one of McCray’s sham businesses for allegedly cleaning fabric panels in the Archives facility, when in fact McCray paid an outside company about $1,627 to perform the work. Whitson used his government card to pay another McCray business $14,500 for allegedly constructing systems furniture in the Archives facility, when in fact Whitson and McCray paid about $900 to two of McCray’s co-workers and another individual who performed this work. Whitson used his government card to pay a bogus McCray business $44,700 for allegedly supplying and installing tray slides, back splash and Corian countertop in the facility’s cafeteria when in fact an outside company performed the work for $35,050. Finally, Whitson used his government card to pay a bogus McCray business $1,700 for allegedly breaking down cubicles in the Archives facility when in fact one of McCray’s co-workers and another individual performed this work for about $200.

McCray and Whitson caused the Archives to deposit the payments into the sham businesses’ accounts, and the two shared the proceeds. As a result of the scheme, the total loss to the Archives is $958,280.64.

Robert Caleb McCray, age 44, of Silver Spring, Maryland, previously pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme and was sentenced on September 15, 2010 to 15 months in prison.

The National Procurement Fraud Task Force was formed in October 2006 to promote the early detection, identification, prevention and prosecution of procurement fraud associated with the increase in government contracting activity for national security and other government programs. The Procurement Fraud Task Force - chaired by Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division Lanny A. Breuer - includes the United States Attorneys’ Offices, the FBI, the U.S. Inspectors General community and a number of other federal law enforcement agencies. This case, as well as other cases brought by members of the Task Force, demonstrate the Department of Justice’s commitment to helping ensure the integrity of the government procurement process.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the National Archives and Records Administration Office of Inspector General and the Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General for their work on this investigation and commended Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan E. Foreman, who prosecuted the case.

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