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PAXRVR Employee Gets 2.5 Years for Embezzling $600,000+ from Navy Recycling Program

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The County Times Newspaper

The Southern Calvert Gazette Newspaper

Posted on May 02, 2012

Sold Government’s Scrap Metal for Personal Profit

GREENBELT, Md. (May 2, 2012) -- Chief U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow sentenced Christopher M. Hill, age 47, of Lusby, today to 30 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for embezzling government property and filing false tax returns. Chief Judge Chasanow also entered an order requiring Hill to pay $134,795.22 in restitution to the IRS and $631,057.41 in restitution to the U.S. Navy.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge John Wagner of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Washington Field Office; Special Agent in Charge Robert Craig of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service - Mid-Atlantic Field Office; and Acting Special Agent in Charge Eric C. Hylton of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office.

“Christopher M. Hill sold valuable government property and pocketed the proceeds for himself,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “This is the second case we have prosecuted in the past year of a government employee who sold scrap metal from a military facility and pocketed the proceeds.”

“Mr. Hill’s sentencing illustrates that the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, along with its law enforcement partners and the United States Attorney’s Office, will doggedly investigate and prosecute those that decide to break the rules – or make-up their own rules – to steal and cheat from the Department of Defense,” said Robert Craig, Special Agent in Charge for the DCIS, Mid-Atlantic Field Office.

According to his plea agreement, from 1997 until July 2008, Hill worked as a civilian employee of the U.S. Navy at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station (“NAS”). Hill managed the recycling program and handled matters related to scrap metals. In June 2008, Hill became the Naval District Washington FX program manager at the Washington Naval Yard, where he continued to handle recycling contracts and other recycling matters for the Naval District of Washington, which included NAS and other military facilities located in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

From 1998 through 2003, the Navy contracted with companies to retrieve recyclable materials, such as scrap metal, paper and cardboard, from naval facilities, sell the materials and remit a percentage of the sale proceeds to the Navy. The companies typically paid the Navy by check made payable to the U.S. Treasury which were deposited into a government account.

In 2003, the contracts between the Navy and the recycling businesses expired. The Navy and the businesses continued to operate under the terms of the expired contracts. Company A was one of the businesses which had a recycling contract with the Navy. Company A continued to retrieve scrap metal from Navy installations, but made no payments to the Navy. Instead, Company A wrote checks to Hill and mailed them directly to Hill, who deposited the checks into his personal bank account.

On October 1, 2008, the Navy entered into a contract to handle all recyclable materials with another company. However, the contract allowed Hill to maintain Company A’s existing practice of retrieving scrap metals from certain installations. Thereafter, Company A continued to retrieve scrap metal from Navy installations, write checks to Hill and mail the checks to his personal post office box in Calvert County, Maryland. Hill then deposited the checks into his personal bank accounts.

Between January 2004 and April 2010, Hill deposited at least 124 checks from Company A totaling $631,057.41 into bank accounts he controlled.

Additionally, for calendar years 2005, 2006 and 2007, Hill did not file a tax return. For calendar years 2008 and 2009, Hill filed fraudulent federal tax returns which did not report his income from Company A. Specifically, during 2008, Hill received $150,795.82 and during 2009, Hill received $68,412.93, from Company A, which he did not report as income.

On June 3, 2011, former NSA employee Robert Barry Adcock was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for a similar corruption scheme. Adcock sold recyclable metal from NSA at Fort Meade to Berg Brothers Recycling, Inc. Adcock, Adam Wayne Berg and Jeffrey Mark Harmon were convicted in the scheme.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the NCIS, DCIS, and IRS-Criminal Investigation for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Mara Zusman Greenberg, who prosecuted the case.

Source: Office of United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein

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