Former Department of Health and Human Services Employee Sentenced to Prison for Wire Fraud Scheme
A former employee of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (HHS-ASPR) was sentenced today to serve six months in prison for his role in a scheme to defraud the United States by submitting fraudulent employment offers in order to claim retention bonuses totaling $138,875, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
Michael A. Balady, 62, of Springfield, Va., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras in the District of Columbia. In addition to his prison term, Balady was sentenced to serve six months of home confinement and two years of supervised release, and he was ordered to pay a fine of $22,000.
Balady worked in the HHS-ASPR initially as the director of acquisition management systems in ASPR’s Biological Advanced Research and Development Authority and later as the acting director of ASPR’s Office of Acquisitions, Management, Contracts and Grants. As part of his plea agreement, Balady admitted that he conspired with an employee of a communications firm based in Alexandria, Va., to fabricate employment offers for a position with that firm in order to justify retention bonuses paid to him by HHS. Retention bonuses are monetary incentives paid by HHS to employees deemed essential to its mission who would be likely to leave in the absence of such a bonus.
From 2009 until 2012, Balady improperly received retention bonus payments totaling $94,940. In June 2012, HHS approved another retention bonus in the amount of $38,875, but that bonus was never paid to Balady.
This case was investigated by the HHS Office of the Inspector General and was prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Richard B. Evans and Mark Angehr of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section.