U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Virginia
(703) 299-3700
May 28, 2015

Former Senate Staffer Charged with Wire Fraud

ALEXANDRIA, VA—Robert Lee Foster, 65, formerly of Falls Church, Virginia, was indicted by a federal grand jury today on charges of wire fraud.

According to the indictment, from 2008 through May 2015, Foster, who is a former career staff member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, devised a scheme to fraudulently obtain money and property from at least three women. The women are not named, but, according to the indictment, Foster targeted them due to their vulnerability—including their age, health, and marital and family situations—and used his status as a current or retired staff member of the United States Senate to gain their trust and confidence. The indictment alleges that Foster made various false and fraudulent representations to the women in order to get them to send him money, approximately $500,000, which they did, and that Foster spent the money they sent him for his own personal use and benefit.

Foster faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison if convicted. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, made the announcement after the indictment was returned.

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jamar Walker and Trial Attorneys Kevin Driscoll and Peter Halpern of the Public Integrity Section in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER https://pcl.uscourts.gov by searching for Case No. 1:15cr148.

An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

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