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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Federal Charges Filed Against Engineering Department Operations Supervisor and Two Businessowners for Scheme to Defraud Veterans Administration Medical Center in Temple

In Waco today, federal authorities filed charges against Temple, TX, couple Christopher Sebek, 55, and Melissa Sebek, 55, and Killeen, TX resident Jeffrey Pearson, 55, for their roles in a scheme to defraud the Department of Veterans Affairs of approximately $250,000, announced U.S. Attorney John F. Bash and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General (VA-OIG) Criminal Investigations Division Special Agent in Charge James Ross, South Central Field Office.

Christopher Sebek, Operations Supervisor in the Engineering Department at the Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC) in Temple; and Jeffrey Pearson, owner and operator of Whitetail Industrial, a business which contracted goods and services to VAMC-Temple, are both charged by an Information with one count of conspiracy to defraud the government and one count of theft of government property.  A separate, but related, Information charges Melissa Sebek, owner and operator of MS. Bookkeeping Services, with one count of theft of government property.

According to court records, beginning in February 2012, Christopher Sebek and Jeffrey Pearson entered into an agreement to steal money from the VAMC.  Over a five-year period, they allegedly submitted fraudulent invoices to VAMC for payment purportedly for goods and services designated for VAMC.  Sebek also presented bogus invoices to VAMC from his wife’s company.  Those invoices, however, were used by Sebek to pay for personal items and to cover Pearson’s 30% commission on each invoice.  Court records also allege that Sebek stole two VAMC credit cards and used them to pay for personal expenses. 

Upon conviction, the defendants face up to five years in federal prison on the conspiracy charge and up to ten years in federal prison on the theft charge.  All three will receive summonses for their Initial Appearance in federal court in Waco.

The VA-OIG investigated this case.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Gloff is prosecuting this case on behalf of the Government. 

It is important to note that an Information is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt.  The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated September 26, 2018