Former D.C. Government Employee Pleads Guilty To Using Government-Issued Credit Card for Personal Purposes Admits Making Over 200 Purchases of Gasoline For Personal Vehicle, Totaling Over $11,000
WASHINGTON – Kimberley Pinkney, a former inspector with the District of Columbia Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services (DCFEMS), pled guilty today to using her government-issued credit card to purchase over $11,000 in gasoline for her personal vehicle, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. and Robert C. Erickson, Deputy Inspector General of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).
Pinkney, 45, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to a charge of second-degree felony fraud. The Honorable Juliet McKenna scheduled sentencing for May 5, 2015. The charge carries a statutory maximum of three years in prison and potential financial penalties. The plea agreement calls for Pinkney to make full restitution.
Pinkney was arrested in January 2015, following an investigation by the Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). She has since resigned from the D.C. Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services.
“This D.C. employee ripped off $11,000 from the taxpayer, one tank of gas at a time,” said U.S. Attorney Machen. “A government job is an opportunity to serve the public, not to rob them blind. I want to thank the agents who dug through the financial records to uncover this fraud.”
“I appreciate the hard work of our special agents on this case,” said Deputy Inspector General Erickson. “People cannot steal from American taxpayers and expect to get away with it.”
According to a proffer of facts submitted at today’s plea hearing, GSA administers the leases of over 150,000 government vehicles, including 41 to DCFEMS. Each vehicle is assigned a credit card to be used to purchase fuel and pay for other normal vehicle-related expenses, such as car washes and routine maintenance. Charges incurred on the cards are paid with federal funds by GSA. Pinkney was provided with such a credit card for the vehicle she used as an inspector with DCFEMS. Her conduct came to light in the fall of 2014 during a proactive review of purchases associated with the government credit cards. Investigators flagged suspicious activity, such as multiple same-day purchases of gasoline and purchases of more fuel than the vehicle’s tank capacity. A majority of these purchases were made in Southeast Washington.
All told, the investigation revealed that, during the time period of July 7, 2011 through Dec. 10, 2014, Pinkney purchased gasoline at three Southeast Washington gas stations on more than 200 occasions for charging totaling $11,334 for her own personal purposes.
In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Machen and Deputy Inspector General Erickson commended those who investigated the case, including the team led by Special Agent in Charge Gerald Garren. They also expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by the Internal Affairs Unit and the command staff of the D.C. Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services. Finally, they acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialist Kristy Penny and Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie G. Miller, who is prosecuting the case.