Former District Government Employee Sentenced to 18 Months for Carrying Out Embezzlement Scheme
Defendant Collected More Than $400,000 Meant for Individuals And Families in Need of Temporary Assistance
WASHINGTON – Gary T. Holliday, 50, a former training supervisor and policy analyst for the District of Columbia Department of Human Services (DHS), was sentenced today to 18 months in prison for his involvement in a scheme in which he defrauded the agency of more than $400,000 in temporary assistance benefits meant for needy District residents.
The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu, Charles A. Dayoub, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Criminal Division, FBI Washington Field Office, District of Columbia Inspector General Daniel W. Lucas, and Special Agent in Charge Maureen R. Dixon of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), for the region that includes Washington, D.C.
Holiday, of Fort Washington, Maryland, pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in February 2019. He was sentenced by the Honorable Rudolph Contreras. The judge also ordered Holliday to pay $404,800.31 in restitution and in forfeiture. Upon completion of his prison term, Holliday will be placed on two years of supervised release.
According to plea documents, Holliday embezzled money intended to provide temporary support and assistance to low-income families and individuals. Specifically, he targeted the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the food stamps program, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which consists of cash benefits. Benefits in both programs were provided to clients via electronic benefit cards.
Holliday’s job responsibilities at DHS included representing the agency at “fair hearings” that involved disputes between DHS and its clients about eligibility and benefits. In cases where the agency lost the hearing, Holliday was responsible for creating a memorandum summarizing the conclusions of the hearing and directing another employee at DHS to calculate and pay whatever “underpayments” the client was owed. Holliday created and submitted a fraudulent memorandum in which he falsely claimed that as a result of a purported fair hearing, a client of DHS needed to be processed for SNAP and TANF underpayments.
In fact, the named client had not applied for benefits (the client’s alleged application had been forged by Holliday) and there had never been a fair hearing regarding the client’s eligibility for benefits. As a result of the Holliday’s actions, another employee created an active underpayment account for the client in the DHS computer system. Then, between June 2017 and November 2018, Holliday used his access to the DHS computer system to create over 400 fraudulent underpayments for the client, totaling in excess of $400,000. He accessed the fraudulent proceeds by using the client’s benefit card.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Liu, Acting Special Agent in Charge Dayoub, District of Columbia Inspector General Lucas, and Special Agent in Charge Dixon of U.S. HHS-OIG, commended the work of those who investigated the case from the FBI’s Washington Field Office, the District of Columbia Office of the Inspector General, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General. They also expressed appreciation for the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily A. Miller who prosecuted the case and Paralegal Specialist Aisha Keys who assisted.