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Press Release

Former Senate Staffer Sentenced to 38 Months for Defrauding Three Women

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A former staff member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation was sentenced today to 38 months in prison for a wire fraud scheme, announced Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente of the Eastern District of Virginia and Assistant Director in Charge Paul M. Abbate of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

Robert Lee Foster, 65, formerly of Falls Church, Virginia, was also ordered to forfeit $499,622.54 and pay $503,003.37 in restitution as part of his sentence, which was imposed by Senior U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III of the Eastern District of Virginia.  Foster pleaded guilty on July 31, 2015.

According to admissions made in connection with his guilty plea, between 2008 and May 2015, Foster devised a scheme to fraudulently obtain approximately $500,000 from three women in their 60s and 70s.  Foster admitted that, to perpetuate the scheme, he gained the victims’ trust and confidence, after which he made various false statements to the victims to convince them to send him money.  Among other things, Foster admitted that he told his victims he needed to borrow money to pay for litigation costs and business expenses that did not exist and for foreign travel that did not occur.  Foster also admitted that he promised to repay the victims from large sums of money he claimed he was about to receive, which was another lie.  

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office.  Trial Attorneys Peter Halpern and Kevin Driscoll of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jamar Walker and Ryan Faulconer of the Eastern District of Virginia prosecuted the case.

Updated November 6, 2019

Financial Fraud
Public Corruption
Press Release Number: 15-1342