Former Top GSA Official Pleads Guilty To Filing False Claims
SAN FRANCISCO- Jeffrey Neely, the former Acting Regional Administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), pleaded guilty in federal court in San Francisco today to making a false claim to the United States, announced United States Attorney Melinda Haag and GSA Office of Inspector General, Acting Special Agent in Charge Theresa Quellhorst.
In pleading guilty, Neely, 59, of Gardnerville, NV, admitted to submitting a claim for reimbursement for, and causing GSA to pay, a claim for lodging expenses at a Las Vegas-area casino, which he knew was not incurred for official business.
In 2010, Neely was the Regional Commissioner for the Public Buildings Service for the Pacific Rim Region for the U.S. General Services Administration. The region includes California, Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and Saipan, as well as certain properties in Japan, Korea, Singapore, and elsewhere. Neely also was Acting Regional Administrator, making him the top official in the region for GSA. According to the plea agreement, Neely submitted to GSA a claim to be reimbursed for lodging expenses at M Resort Spa Casino Las Vegas which he knew was not incurred for official business. He also admitted he submitted and caused GSA to pay additional false claims during his tenure, that he improperly failed to claim annual leave on certain dates, and that these acts resulted in losses to GSA exceeding $5,000. He also agreed that these acts constitute an abuse of his position of trust with GSA, and that he obstructed justice during GSA’s investigation of his offenses by submitting a false document and falsely certifying it as true.
On September 25, 2014, a federal grand jury indicted Neely and charged him with three counts of making false claims, in violation of under 18 U.S.C. § 287; and two counts of making false statements and using false documents, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001. Pursuant to the plea agreement, Neely pleaded guilty to one count of making a false claim to the United States, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 287. He also agreed to pay $8,000 in restitution.
Neely remains out of custody pending his sentencing hearing, which is scheduled for June 30, 2015, at 2:30 p.m., before the Honorable Richard Seeborg, U.S. District Judge, in San Francisco. The maximum statutory penalty for a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 287 is a five year term of imprisonment, a fine of $250,000 (or twice the gross gain or loss resulting from the violation) plus restitution. However, any sentence will be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Hartley M.K. West is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Rosario Calderon. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the GSA’s OIG.