Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm sentenced Brandon Scott Gauss, age 28, of Preston, Maryland today to a year and a day followed by three years of supervised release for stealing government property from the Goddard Space Flight Center, part of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Judge Grimm also ordered that Gauss pay restitution of $11,574.35 to the U.S. government; $4,461 to Fast Cash Pawn Shop in Annapolis, Maryland; and forfeit at least $29,412.89.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Inspector General Paul K. Martin, NASA Office of Inspector General.
According to his plea agreement, Gauss was a contract employee at NASA. As an engineering technician at the Goddard Space Flight Center, he had access to tools and other property NASA owned. From October 2011 through November 2012, Gauss stole tools and aluminum scaffolding belonging to the government, which he sold to pawn shops for cash. Gauss made over 60 visits to pawn shops throughout Maryland, including Baltimore, Anne Arundel and Queen Anne Counties, and received at least $16,974. The government has recovered some of the items, worth at least $29,736. Gauss admits that he owes the government at least $11,574.35, the money he received from selling the stolen materials the government has been unable to recover.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the NASA OIG, Office of Investigations for its work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Leah J. Bressack and Sujit Raman, who prosecuted the case.