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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Pennsylvania

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Former 171st Air Refueling Wing Commander Caught in Scheme to Defraud the U.S.

PITTSBURGH – A former Guardsmen officer at the 171st Air Refueling Wing in Coraopolis, Pa., has pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the United States Air Force and the Air National Guard of tens of thousands of dollars in military pay and benefits, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Gerard J. Mangis, 60, of Glenshaw, Pa., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. before Senior U.S. District Judge Gustave Diamond.

According to information presented to the Court, Mangis, a Colonel and former Mission Support Group Commander at the 171st Air Refueling Wing, conspired with Robert St. Clair, a contract employee at the National Guard Bureau and former tech sergeant at the 171st, to defraud the United States Air Force in false claims for military pay between 2002 and 2011. In 2002, Mangis appointed St. Clair to a position at the 171st where Mangis arranged for St. Clair to be enlisted at the 171st in a “no show” position, and enable him to avoid performing required guardsman duties such as drill weekends and physical tests, while earning valuable military pay and benefits. In exchange, using his authority at National Guard Bureau at Andrews AFB, St. Clair issued streams of military “workdays” to Mangis, which he used to accumulate excessive active and inactive duty military pay between 2006 and 2011. The estimated loss to the government is up to $70,000.

U.S. Attorney Hickton said, “Pursuing and prosecuting fraud against the government is a priority of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI, and we remain steadfast in our shared commitment to protect the public trust through the elimination of corruption.”

Judge Diamond scheduled sentencing for Nov. 17, 2015, at 10 a.m. The law allows for a maximum total sentence of five years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Robert St. Clair, who pleaded guilty on April 14, 2014, to a one-count information charging conspiracy to defraud the United States, is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 25, 2015 before U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab.

Assistant United States Attorney Gregory C. Melucci is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The United States Air Force Office of Special Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation leading to prosecution of this case.

Updated July 23, 2015