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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


JOHN F. WOOD


Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html


OCTOBER 30, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


FEDERAL EMPLOYEE INDICTED FOR

$600,000 EMBEZZLEMENT


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a federal government employee was indicted by a federal grand jury today for embezzling nearly $600,000 from the government.


            Michael T. Harrington, 44, of Lee’s Summit, Mo., was charged in a four-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City. Harrington is employed as a supervisory accountant at GSA.


            “Those who are thinking of abusing their public trust should beware,” said GSA Inspector General Brian D. Miller. “The OIG is actively seeking out corruption in the federal workplace, and will be bringing thieves to justice.”


            Today’s indictment alleges that Harrington stole $593,549 between May 9, 2006, and May 5, 2008, while he was employed at the GSA office at 1500 E. Bannister Rd., Kansas City. Harrington allegedly created 13 government refund payment vouchers made payable to the MWR Fund, a fictitious business entity he created, and directed the checks to be deposited into the fund’s bank account.


            Harrington is also charged with three counts of money laundering related to financial transactions involving funds that were derived from the alleged embezzlement.


            “Maintaining the highest possible standard of integrity and transparency is a top priority for GSA, and a responsibility shared by all GSA employees,” said Acting Administrator James A. Williams. “Upon learning of this isolated incident, we took immediate action to prevent a similar occurrence, and to ensure that our system of internal controls meets the high standards expected of stewards of taxpayer dollars.”



            Wood cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney K. Michael Warner. It was investigated by the General Services Administration – Office of Inspector General and IRS-Criminal Investigation.


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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html