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Lake St. Louis man indicted for illegally removing government records

April 26, 2012

St. Louis, MO - JEFFEREY GOEBEL of Lake St. Louis, MO, pled guilty today to one felony count of illegally removing records from a government office.

Goebel had been the Director of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency Office of Commercial Partnerships, which is part of the United States Department of Defense (DoD). Generally, the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) analyzes imagery of various geographic locations on Earth in support of national security needs. NGA provides data to the United States Military regarding the physical features and terrain of specific locations on Earth. As part of his job duties at NGA, on February 18, 2010, Goebel received a spreadsheet that compared the hourly proposals of several Government contractors against NGA’s established costs. As such, the spreadsheet contained valuable property of the United States, including not just the hourly proposals of several Government contractors, but also NGA’s internal comparison of like projects to be awarded. When Goebel received this spreadsheet at NGA, it was provided to him as a "PROPIN/FOUO/Contract Sensitive" document. This description of the spreadsheet meant that it contained proprietary contractor and agency information, was for official use only, and was a sensitive and valuable document that should be protected by agency employees during the ongoing NGA negotiations.

Goebel retired from NGA on June 3, 2010. Shortly thereafter, he started employment as a Vice-President at a private company that was a commercial provider of high resolution earth imagery to public and private customers, including NGA. Generally, this private company was interested in obtaining more work from NGA. During November 2010, Goebel shared the NGA spreadsheet with a co-worker at this private company. Shortly thereafter, the private company terminated Goebel’s employment, disclosed these events to NGA, and returned the company’s only copy of the spreadsheet to NGA on December 3, 2010.

United States Attorney Richard Callahan noted that in contrast to the many criminal cases across the country dealing with corporate greed and wrongdoing, this case serves as shining example of what is right about the American business ethos. Although the company has asked to remain anonymous, Callahan praised the company for spurning the opportunity to gain an unfair advantage over its competitors and instead promptly reporting the matter to authorities.

Goebel appeared before United States District Judge Audrey G. Fleissig. The maximum penalty for this charge is three years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000. Sentencing has been set for July 31, 2012.

This case was investigated by the Office of Inspector General for NGA, and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service of the United States Department of Defense.

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