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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Former DoD Employee Sentenced to Prison for $1.4 Million Fraud Scheme

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A Matthews woman was sentenced today to four years in prison for computer fraud and theft of government property in connection with an extensive timekeeping fraud that resulted in losses of over $1.4 million, which she was ordered to pay in restitution.

According to court documents, Michelle M. Holt, 52, was previously employed as a federal employee for the Department of Defense. Holt worked as a secretary for U.S. Air Force, Air Combat Command, Communication Support Squadron, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis. Holt was a salaried employee on the General Schedule (GS) grade for the federal civilian workforce. As such, she was entitled to overtime pay if authorized by her employer, was also entitled to other forms of holiday and annual leave, and premium pay for any federal holidays worked.

A law enforcement investigation determined that from December 2001 to July 2018, Holt falsely claimed over 42,000 hours in unauthorized overtime for hours she did not work, as well as other amounts of unauthorized holiday leave, sick leave and annual leave, all amounting to losses to the United States of more than $1.4 million. In recent years, Holt’s overtime pay was over double that of her regular salary. Holt accomplished the fraud by making manual retroactive adjustments to protected computer time and attendance systems to add overtime, reverse leave taken and reverse holiday leave. In doing so, Holt used another employee’s log-in information without that employee’s knowledge or authorization.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Robert Craig, Special Agent in Charge for Defense Criminal Investigative Service Mid-Atlantic Field Office, and Colonel Kirk B. Stabler, Commander of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian J. Samuels prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:18-cr-93.

Topic(s): 
Public Corruption
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Communications joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated March 13, 2019