Former Senate Office Manager Convicted in $75,000 Wire Fraud Scheme
WASHINGTON – Ngozi T. Pole, 40, a former office manager in the U.S. Senate, was convicted today of five counts of wire fraud and one count of theft of government property, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division and James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.
Pole, of Waldorf, Md., was charged in an indictment returned on Dec. 15, 2009, by a federal grand jury in Washington. According to evidence presented during his trial, Pole worked as the office manager for former U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy. Pole’s responsibilities included transmitting salary information to the Senate Disbursing Office in order to adjust the pay of employees in the senator’s office.
According to evidence presented at trial, beginning in at least 2003 and continuing until January 2007, Pole repeatedly submitted paperwork causing the Senate to pay him larger bonus payments than had been approved by either the chief of staff or Senator Kennedy. According to the evidence presented at trial, these unauthorized bonus payments totaled more than $75,000. Pole hid the existence of these unauthorized payments by repeatedly transmitting information to the chief of staff that falsely showed that he received only those payments that had been authorized.
“Today, a federal jury found Mr. Pole guilty of using his position as a Congressional staffer to steal more than $75,000 of government money,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer of the Criminal Division. “Employees of Congress are entrusted with performing their duties honestly and ethically. While hundreds of them live up to that important duty every day, we will, as today’s verdict shows, hold accountable those few who use their positions to illegally enrich themselves.”
“The public trusts that those in government service will obey the law and protect the interests of the people. When that trust is broken, it is the FBI’s responsibility to investigate and bring those who corrupt the system to justice,” said Assistant Director McJunkin of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.
Each wire fraud charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years and a $250,000 fine. The theft of government property charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing has been scheduled for July 14, 2011.
This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Deborah Sue Mayer and Ethan H. Levisohn of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section. The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office. Former Senator Kennedy’s office cooperated fully with the investigation.