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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Tennessee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 21, 2019

Former Assistant United States Attorney Pleads Guilty To Federal Theft Charge

JACKSON, Tenn. – November 21, 2019 – Barbara Zoccola, 58, of Memphis, Tennessee, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court to a federal theft charge, announced U.S. Attorney Don Cochran for the Middle District of Tennessee.  Zoccola was charged in a criminal Information filed on October 9, 2019, which resulted from an investigation by the Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General into Zoccola’s time and attendance records. 

Today, Zoccola entered into a plea agreement, in which she admitted to the conduct alleged in the single-count Information – that on October 25, 2018, she certified her time and attendance records for the pay period, falsely reporting that she had worked full 8-hour days on four specific days.  Zoccola failed to report nine hours of leave time that she had taken on the same days.  Zoccola also admitted that between June 2018 and June 2019, she submitted additional certifications in which she failed to report other leave time, which allowed her to accrue additional leave time that she was not entitled to.  Zoccola admitted that the value of the unreported leave time was between $6,500 and $15,000.

The plea agreement required Zoccola to resign her position as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and to pay $10,000 in restitution to the Department of Justice.  She also faces up to one year in prison when she is sentenced next year.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brent A. Hannafan and Chris Suedekum of the Middle District of Tennessee.  U.S. District Judge William L. Campbell, Jr., of the Middle District of Tennessee, sitting by special designation, conducted the proceedings in the Jackson Branch of the Western District of Tennessee. 

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Topic(s): 
Public Corruption
Contact: 
David Boling Public Information Officer 615-736-5956 david.boling2@usdoj.gov
Updated November 21, 2019