Customs and Border Protection Officer Pleads Guilty to Theft of Federal Funds
A U.S. Customs and Border Portection (CBP) officer pleaded guilty today to converting federal funds to his own use, announced Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
Daniel Lerchbacker, 35, of Conroe, Texas, pleaded guilty to one count of conversion before U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison of the Southern District of Texas. Sentencing is scheduled for June 26, 2019.
According to admissions made in connection with his plea, Lerchbacker, while stationed in Canada as a CBP officer between December 2015 and December 2017, received from the U.S. foreign monetary allowances for the lease of his family’s residence and private school education expenses for his children. Although he received the full amount of federal funds that he requested as part of these allowances, Lerchbacker failed to pay a property management company and two private schools a total of approximately $54,460.99 CAD. Instead, Lerchbacker used thousands of dollars of the federal funds he received on items unrelated to his family’s housing or his children’s education.
Lerchbacker also admitted to submitting to CBP copies of checks as proof of payment to one of the private schools, despite knowing that such payments had not, in fact, been made. Additionally, Lerchbacker admitted that he requested, collected, and retained from the U.S. approximately $24,230.50 CAD in advance funds for his children’s education expenses for the full year while knowing that he and his family were to leave Canada before the start of the second semester.
The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General investigated this case. Trial Attorney Rebecca Moses of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section is prosecuting the case.