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COLUMBUS, OHIO – Curtis Clark III, 48, of Pataskala, Ohio pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court here today to transporting stolen generators and welding equipment worth $89,236.03 from the VA Medical Center in Chillicothe, Ohio and selling them to individuals in West Virginia.
Carter Stewart, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio and Gavin McClaren, Resident Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs – Office of Inspector General (OIG) announced the plea entered today before U.S. District Judge Algenon L. Marbley.
According to court documents, a generator and welder belonging to the VA as well as two generators belonging to VA contractors, were stolen from the Chillicothe VA Medical Center in October 2011. In August 2012, the Mingo County West Virginia Sheriff’s Office contacted the OIG, telling them that the stolen items had been recovered in a storage garage in Holden, West Virginia.
Further investigation led to Clark, a patient at the VA at the time of the thefts, who admitted that he knew the men who stole the equipment and that he helped transport the equipment to West Virginia and sell it. Clark also admitted to pawning some of the items stolen from the VA at a Columbus pawn shop. Other construction equipment was recovered from Clark’s former residence in Pataskala.
Clark pleaded guilty to one count of interstate transportation of stolen property, which is punishable by up to ten years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and three years of supervised release. Judge Marbley will schedule a date for sentencing.
“This stolen equipment was intended for the care of our veterans at the Chillicothe VA Medical Center,” McClaren said. “We will tirelessly pursue those who steal from our nation’s heroes.”
U.S. Attorney Stewart commended the investigation by the VA Inspector General’s Criminal Investigation Division, the Chillicothe VA Medical Center Police who assisted with the investigation and Assistant U.S. Attorney Dale Williams, who is representing the United States in the case.