NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Roy E. Friend, 52, of Newport News, was sentenced today to 33 months in prison for stealing government property.
Friend pleaded guilty on March 24. According to a statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Friend, a civilian employee of the Department of Defense (DOD) who worked as the Chief of Logistics and Program Management, Aviation and Missile Command at Fort Eustis, admitted to fraudulently obtaining goods through the General Services Administration (GSA) Advantage website. The GSA Advantage system is an e-business website designed to facilitate on-line purchasing and GSA Schedules contract research by federal employees and local government entities. GSA Advantage gives various government agencies access to millions of commercial products and services. From in or about Aug. 19, 2010, to about mid-2015, Friend made approximately 666 orders totaling approximately $2.3 million using his GSA Advantage account
According to court documents, an investigation conducted by the GSA – Office of Inspector General (GSA – OIG), the DOD - Office of Inspector General (DOD – OIG), and the FBI determined that many of the items purchased by Friend were taken for personal use, and that Friend would take certain items to an outside business where he and/or another conspirator would remove GSA shipping labels and resell the items for private financial gain. The investigation also revealed that certain items were sold over the eBay auction website. Beyond Friend’s fraudulent use of GSA Advantage, law enforcement also determined that Friend fraudulently obtained $228,685.55 worth of equipment for Fort Lee through the U.S. Falcon contract. In total, Friend fraudulently obtained goods valued at approximately $905,035.82.
Friend was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $715,829.40 as well as criminal forfeiture. Friend previously forfeited property valued at $189,206.42, which has been admitted to the United States.
Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Carol Fortine Ochoa, Inspector General, General Services Administration – Office of Inspector General; and Jonathan F. Trimble, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office; made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Henry Coke Morgan, Jr. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian J. Samuels prosecuted the case.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:16-cr-24.