Retired Soldier Pleads Guilty to Theft of Government Property
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A retired soldier pleaded guilty today to receiving and selling stolen government property that had been initially delivered to at Fort Eustis.
According to court documents, Francis “Edward” Roach, 55, of Yorktown, is a retired soldier who served in the U.S. Army from 1982-2006. He owned and operated A & E Automotive Repair of Denbigh, Inc., a local repair shop based in Newport News. From August 2010 through mid-2015, Roy E. Friend, who worked as the Chief of Logistics and Program Management, Aviation and Missile Command at Fort Eustis, made over 600 orders and fraudulently obtained over approximately $2.3 million worth of goods through the General Services Administration (GSA) Advantage website using his GSA Advantage account. All of the orders were paid for with funds belonging to the United States. Some of these items, including boxes of tools and or other equipment, were taken to A & E Automotive where they were resold by Roach for private financial gain. Roach sold items to individuals at discounted prices providing false explanations as to how he obtained the equipment.
The property received and stolen by Roach was a portion of an over $800,000 fraud committed by civilian employees of the Department of Defense, who were also retired soldiers.
Friend pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 33 months in prison for his role in the scheme, along with another former Department of Defense employee. Roach pleaded guilty to theft of government property and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison when sentenced on October 18. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Carol Fortine Ochoa, Inspector General, General Services Administration (GSA), Robert E. Craig, Special Agent in Charge for the Defense Criminal Investigative Service’s (DCIS) Mid-Atlantic Field Office, and Martin Culbreth, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement after U.S. Magistrate Judge Douglas E. Miller accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian J. Samuels is prosecuting 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. 4:17-cr-108.