Foreign Service Officer Pleads Guilty to Submitting False Claims to the Department of State
Charleston, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Sherri A. Lydon stated today that Tiffany Thomas, age 34, of Bowie, Maryland, has entered a guilty plea in federal court in Charleston to Submission of False, Fictitious, and Fraudulent Claims, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 287. United States District Judge Margaret Seymour, of Charleston, accepted the guilty plea and will impose sentence after she has reviewed the presentence report, which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.
Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that Thomas submitted false claims while she was employed in the Department of State’s Regional Security Office in Lome, Togo. The funds were managed by the Department of State's Global Financial Services Center in Charleston. As part of the scheme, Thomas submitted forged receipts for expenses related to official travel in the United States and abroad. The Government alleges the claims exceeded $100,000.
Ms. Lydon stated the maximum penalty for Submission of False, Fictitious, and Fraudulent Claims is imprisonment for 5 years, a fine of $250,000, and up to 3 years of supervised release.
The case was investigated by special agents of the Department of State, Office of Inspector General, led by Inspector General Steve A. Linick. Assistant United States Attorney Matt Austin of the Charleston Office is prosecuting the case.