Two Former Guardsmen Charged in Fraud Against the United States
PITTSBURGH – Two former-enlisted Guardsmen at the 171st Air Refueling Wing in Coraopolis, Pa., have been charged with defrauding the United States Air Force and the Air National Guard of hundreds of thousands of dollars in military pay and benefits, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
A 110-count indictment, charging conspiracy, honest service wire fraud, false claims and theft of government property, named Gerard J. Mangis, 59, of Glenshaw, Pa., (Shaler Twp.), as the sole defendant.
According to the government, Mangis, a Colonel and former Vice-Wing Commander at the 171st Air Refueling Wing, conspired with Robert St. Clair, a contract employee at the National Guard Bureau at Andrews Air Force Base, to defraud the United States Air Force in false claims for military pay between 2002 and 2011. Mangis is also charged with a scheme to defraud the United States Air Force by enlisting St. Clair in a “no show” job at the 171st, for which in exchange, Mangis received military workdays.
In an Information filed by the government, Robert St. Clair, 50, of Bel Air, Maryland, is charged with one count of conspiracy, eight counts of false claims, and one count of theft of government property. According to the Bill of Information, between 2002 and 2011, St. Clair conspired with Mangis at the 171st Air Refueling Wing to defraud the United States by accepting a ‘no show” enlistment position as a “contracting specialist” at the 171st in exchange for St. Clair providing military work days to Mangis.
“These cases involve two public officials, who engaged in a corrupt, mutually beneficial scheme for personal gain,” stated U.S. Attorney Hickton. “Investigating and exposing corruption, wherever it occurs, is a priority of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI, and we are fully committed to prosecuting violators of the public trust regardless of position, title or rank.”
“The FBI will continue to aggressively pursue allegations of government fraud in order to root out those who are in the position to abuse their power and defraud the Unites States, “said SAC Perdue. “The indictment of Colonel Mangis demonstrates Pittsburgh FBI’s commitment in that endeavor.”
The law provides for a maximum total sentence per count of five or 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
The indictment charging Gerard J. Mangis was returned under seal on March 4 and unsealed today following Mangis’ arrest this morning at his home. He made an Initial Appearance before a federal magistrate judge Wednesday afternoon. He was released on $10,000 unsecured bond.
The Information charging Robert St. Clair was filed today. He will be ordered to appear before a U.S. District Judge at a date and time not yet determined.
Assistant United States Attorney Gregory C. Melucci is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The United States Air Force Office of Special Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation leading to the charges in these cases.
An indictment is an accusation. An Information is a determination that probable cause exists to believe that offenses have been committed by a defendant. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.