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Justice News

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

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Former U.S. Army Sergeant Sentenced to Federal Prison for Stealing Over $120,000 Through Processing of Fraudulent Travel Vouchers

In Waco today, 34-year-old Justin Neal Watson was sentenced to 16 months in federal prison after admitting to stealing money from the Government through the processing of fraudulent travel vouchers announced United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr., and Special Agent in Charge Scott Wilk, U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command Southwestern Fraud Field Office.

In addition to the prison term, United States District Judge Walter S. Smith, Jr. ordered that the former U.S. Army Sergeant stationed at Ft. Hood, TX, pay $121,797.96 restitution to the Government and be placed on supervised release for a period of three years following the completion of his prison term. 

On December 17, 2015, Watson pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government property.  According to court records, Watson was assigned as the Authorizing Official for the Defense Travel System (DTS). As such, he maintained the authority to review, authorize, and approve expenditures of U.S. Government funds for official travel. 

By pleading guilty, Watson admitted that between November 2011 and April 2012, he engaged in a scheme to defraud the United States Army by creating and approving fraudulent vouchers in the DTS which resulted in payments to his bank account that he later converted to his own use.

This case was investigated by agents with the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command Southwestern Fraud Field Office.  Assistant United States Attorney Greg Gloff prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

Financial Fraud
Updated April 20, 2016