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Press Release

Former Government Employee Sentenced To 2 Years In Federal Prison For Theft Of Government Property

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maryland


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                           Contact ELIZABETH MORSE                                                     at (410) 209-4885      



Greenbelt, Maryland – United States District Judge George J. Hazel sentenced Rodney Nelson, age 30, of Dunkirk, Maryland today to two years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for theft of government property. Judge Hazel deferred issuing a final order concerning restitution, but the parties’ plea agreement establishes that Nelson will have to pay back at least $311,874.84 to the Government. 


The sentence was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Stephen M. Schenning; Special Agent in Charge Kim R. Lampkins of the Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General, and Special Agent/Commander Adanto D’Amore of the Air Force Office of Inspector General.


According to his plea agreement, from October 2008 November 2013, Nelson worked as a civilian government pay technician with the 11th Comptroller Squadron at Joint Base Andrews. In this position, he was entrusted with access to civilian employees’ personally identifiable information, including social security numbers, dates of birth, and banking information.  In November 2013, Nelson left his job at Joint Base Andrews (“Andrews”) and took a similar position at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center (“VAMC”).


While employed at both Andrews and the VAMC, Nelson abused his positions within the Government to access payroll records and alter personally identifiable information associated with certain current and former government employees, all in an illegal and covert scheme through which he diverted U.S. Government money into his personal bank accounts. Nelson attempted to make it appear as if the money in question was paid to those current and former government employees. During the scheme, Nelson stole approximately $311,874.84 through manipulating payroll records of at least 14 individuals.


For example, Nelson accessed one former Government employee’s banking information and replaced the existing bank account with one of his personal bank accounts. Nelson then improperly added over 2,000 hours of time to that victim’s payroll records (for work the victim never performed), resulting in the Government making substantial direct deposit payments into Nelson’s personal bank account. 


Acting United States Attorney Stephen M. Schenning praised the Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General and Air Force Office of Inspector General for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Schenning thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Packard and David Salem who prosecuted the case.


Updated October 4, 2017