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December 16, 2013

Not Surprising: Climate Change Expert Charged With Fraud of "Massive Proportions"
Surprising: Fraud Wasn't About Climate Change

Via Hot Air, the nation's highest-paid employee (!!!) and an EPA "leading expert" on climate change defrauded the taxpayers for years by simply not showing up for his job.

For how long? For over a decade, prosecutors claim.

He claimed he couldn't show up for his job for ten years, as he had been recruited by the CIA to do some kind of secret mission in Pakistan. But he still drew a paycheck.

This is like that scene in an Army movie: "I don't know whether to put you up for a court martial or a Silver Star."



John C. Beale, who pled guilty in September to bilking the government out of nearly $1 million in salary and other benefits over a decade, will be sentenced in a Washington, D.C., federal court on Wednesday. In a newly filed sentencing memo, prosecutors said that his “historic” lies are “offensive” to those who actually do dangerous work for the CIA.

Beale’s lawyer, while acknowledging his guilt, has asked for leniency and offered a psychological explanation for the climate expert’s bizarre tales.

“With the help of his therapist,” wrote attorney John Kern, “Mr. Beale has come to recognize that, beyond the motive of greed, his theft and deception were animated by a highly self-destructive and dysfunctional need to engage in excessively reckless, risky behavior.” Kern also said Beale was driven “to manipulate those around him through the fabrication of grandiose narratives … that are fueled by his insecurities.”

You can tell an agency is useless and should be shuttered when its top-paid guy doesn't show up for ten years and no one seems to notice.


...

Beyond Beale’s individual fate, his case raises larger questions about how he was able to get away with his admitted fraud for so long, according to federal and congressional investigators. Two new reports by the EPA inspector general’s office conclude that top officials at the agency “enabled” Beale by failing to verify any of his phony cover stories about CIA work, and failing to check on hundreds of thousands of dollars paid him in undeserved bonuses and travel expenses -- including first-class trips to London where he stayed at five-star hotels and racked up thousands in bills for limos and taxis.

He was making $206,000 per year, plus all that free government travel.

...

To explain his long absences, Beale told agency officials -- including McCarthy -- that he was engaged in intelligence work for the CIA, either at agency headquarters or in Pakistan. At one point he claimed to be urgently needed in Pakistan because the Taliban was torturing his CIA replacement, according to Sullivan.

“Due to recent events that you have probably read about, I am in Pakistan,” he wrote McCarthy in a Dec. 18, 2010 email. “Got the call Thurs and left Fri. Hope to be back for Christmas ….Ho, ho, ho.”

In fact, Beale had no relationship with the CIA at all. Sullivan, the EPA investigator, said he confirmed Beale didn’t even have a security clearance. He spent much of the time he was purportedly working for the CIA at his Northern Virginia home riding bikes, doing housework and reading books, or at a vacation house on Cape Cod.

Just over an eight year period, 2003 to 2011, Our Man in Lahore billed the government for 33 flights, 70% of which were first class tickets, racking up $266,190 in taxpayer-paid expenses. Spies gotta travel in style, you know. Because it's cover, you see.

He also spent double the government's approved per diem for hotel costs, staying at four star hotels, and each of his vouchers were approved by another EPA official.

Here's the kicker: He was only caught because he got even more brazen about fleecing the taxpayers. He retired in 2011, but sought to continue drawing his full salary for a year and a half after his "retirement." It was only that fact that alerted people in the EPA that this guy might be living large on the taxpayer dime.

If he had not gone back to the trough for one last frenzy of post-"retirement" gluttony, he would have gotten away with it, clean.






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