Former Federal Employee Pleads Guilty to Using Stolen Money Order Receipts in Fraud Scheme
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a former federal employee pleaded guilty in federal court today to using stolen money order receipts in a fraud scheme to avoid paying his medical bills.
Byron G. Gorman, 51, of St. Joseph, Mo., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple to the charge contained in a Sept. 10, 2015, federal indictment.
Gorman was employed as an information technology specialist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Office of Inspector General, assigned to the Heart of America Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory in Kansas City, Mo., where he was being trained to become a computer forensic examiner.
By pleading guilty today, Gorman admitted that he used stolen money order receipts – taken by Gorman as he participated in a criminal investigation – as fraudulent evidence in court, both to defend himself against a lawsuit against him by his creditors and in his own lawsuit against his creditors.
Gorman was a defendant in a civil collection lawsuit in Buchanan County, Mo., in which a judgment had been entered against him and a garnishment of his wages had been ordered to recover monies owed on medical bills incurred at the Heartland Regional Medical Center in St. Joseph. On Sept. 28, 2012, Gorman’s creditors filed a second civil collection lawsuit against him in Buchanan County to recover monies owed on additional unpaid medical bills.
On May 22, 2012, Gorman participated in the execution of a federal search warrant at the offices of a private business in Kansas City, Kan. Gorman was there to search for computer-related evidence. He found and took five blank U.S. Postal Service money order receipts belonging to the private business and used them to facilitate the scheme to defraud Heartland Regional Medical Center.
Gorman used the stolen money order receipts and other fraudulent documents created as evidence in his defense. Gorman claimed that he had submitted postal money orders to his creditors, but the payments had not posted. As evidence, he provided the five stolen money order receipts, which were filled out to make it appear that money orders had been made out to Heartland Regional Medical Center, as well as a number of forged letters displaying the names and purported signatures of postal employees.
Gorman also used the stolen money order receipts and other fraudulent documents he created as evidence in a lawsuit he caused to be filed against his creditors. Gorman placed the names and forged signatures of the actual persons onto letters purporting to be from the U.S. Postal Service and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission onto two letters and two certified mail receipts as part of his wire fraud scheme.
Under federal statutes, Gorman is subject to a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
As an examiner in training, Gorman did not perform any computer forensic examinations unless under the supervision of a fully certified Heart of America Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory (HARCFL) examiner.
Upon learning of the allegations regarding Gorman, the Heart of America Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory did a complete and thorough review of any cases which Gorman may have assisted in the examination of computer forensic evidence. No inconsistencies, errors or issues were noted with any evidence. The Heart of America Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory is a fully accredited laboratory facility following a strict protocol for the examination of evidence and the training protocol for examiners in training.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Venneman. It was investigated by the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General – Office of Compliance and Integrity.