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Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 3, 2021

Veterans Affairs Employee Pleads Guilty After Recording Co-Workers in Veterans Affairs Clinic Restroom

PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – Robert Sampson, 52, of Gulf Breeze, Florida, pled guilty today to charges of Video Voyeurism and Disorderly Conduct. Sampson surreptitiously videoed eight fellow Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) employees using a hidden recording device that he placed in a restroom at the Veterans Affairs Joint Ambulatory Care Center in Pensacola, Florida, on multiple occasions from August 2019 to June 2020.  Jason R. Coody, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, announced the plea today.

“The victims in this case perform an incredible service to our retired and disabled military community and they should feel safe and have their privacy respected in their work environment,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Coody.  “I applaud the Department of Veterans Affairs Police and the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of the Inspector General for their thorough investigation into this crime.”

Sampson pled guilty as charged. The facts introduced at the time of the plea revealed that Sampson admitted to placing a hidden camera, disguised to look like a cell phone charger power adapter, in a restroom at the Pensacola VA Joint Ambulatory Care Center approximately 17 times.  When VA employees discovered the recording device and notified the VA Police, Sampson attempted to wrestle the employees for control of the device. Sampson later admitted that he had placed the device in the restroom to record individuals in the restroom and would later watch the footage.

The Department of Veterans Affairs Police responded to the disturbance and initiated the investigation into the allegations before forwarding the case to the Veterans Affairs Office of the Inspector General.

Sampson’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for August 19, 2021, at 2:00 pm, at the United States Courthouse in Pensacola before the Honorable Elizabeth M. Timothy. Sampson faces up to one year of imprisonment on the Video Voyeurism Count, and up to six months imprisonment for the Disorderly Conduct Count.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer H. Callahan and Special Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Kalayjian, a member of the United States Navy JAG Corps.

The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access available public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.

Contact: 
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Florida (850) 216-3829 USAFLN.Press.Office@usdoj.gov Follow us on Twitter / @NDFLnews
Updated June 3, 2021