Former Intelligence Agency Official Pleads Guilty to Lying to Federal Agents
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Brian P. Hearing, 43, of Falls Church, Virginia, a former official with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), pleaded guilty today to lying to federal investigators to conceal his ownership of a private company he was inappropriately using his official position to promote.
According to the statement of facts filed along with his plea agreement, Hearing worked at NGA from 2011 to 2015 in its Innovision Directorate, an applied science and technology research group. Hearing admitted that, during this time, he also co-founded a private company for the purpose of developing and commercializing a certain type of automated detection system. Hearing also admitted that he inappropriately used his position with the NGA to promote the company.
In connection with his guilty plea, Hearing also admitted that, when questioned by federal agents about his involvement with the company, he lied to conceal his conflict of interest. Among other things, Hearing admitted to falsely claiming that another individual was the only founder of the company and to denying having any legal or financial connections to the company when, in fact, he co-founded the company and shared equal ownership of it.
Hearing faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison when sentenced on Nov. 13, 2015. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Leslie R. Caldwell, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Patricia C. Langford, Assistant Inspector General of NGA; and Paul Sternal, Acting Special Agent in Charge for the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) Mid-Atlantic Field Office, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis, III.
This case was investigated by the NGA Office of Inspector General and DCIS. Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul J. Nathanson of the Eastern District of Virginia, and Trial Attorney Heidi Boutros Gesch of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section are prosecuting 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. 1:15-cr-214.