Former Senate Employee Charged with $75,000 Wire Fraud Scheme
|U.S. Department of Justice December 15, 2009|
WASHINGTON—Ngozi T. Pole, 39, a former office manager in the U.S. Senate, was charged today in a six-count indictment for an alleged scheme to defraud the U.S. Senate of more than $75,000, Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division announced today.
According to the indictment, returned by a federal grand jury in Washington, Pole worked as the office manager for former U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy. Pole’s responsibilities included transmitting salary and bonus information to the Senate Disbursing Office in order to adjust the pay of employees in the Senator’s office. According to the indictment, beginning in at least 2003 and continuing until January 2007, Pole repeatedly submitted paperwork causing the Senate to pay him larger salary and bonus payments than had been approved by either the chief of staff or Senator Kennedy. The indictment alleges that the excess payments totaled more than $75,000.
According to the indictment, Pole hid the existence of these unauthorized payments by repeatedly transmitting information to the chief of staff falsely showing that Pole received only those payments which had been authorized. Pole, of Waldorf, Md., is charged with five counts of wire fraud and one count of theft of government property.
Each wire fraud charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years and a $250,000 fine. The theft of government property charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and a $250,000 fine.
This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys M. Kendall Day and Ethan H. Levisohn of the Public Integrity Section of the Criminal Division. The case is being investigated by the FBI. Senator Kennedy’s Office has cooperated fully with the investigation.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.