Former U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Employee Sentenced for Taking Part in Fraud Against Government
Took Part in a Scheme That Caused More Than $500,000 in Overall Losses
|U.S. Attorney’s Office July 26, 2012|
WASHINGTON—William J. Korn, 53, a former intelligence research specialist with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)-Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was sentenced today to two years of probation, including 120 days in a halfway house, for taking part in a fraud scheme in which he obtained more than $50,000 in government money.
The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen, Jr.; Charles K. Edwards, Acting Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security; James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and Timothy Moynihan, Director of ICE’s Office of Professional Responsibility.
Korn, of Tucson, Arizona, pled guilty in December 2011 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to a charge of conversion of government money. He was sentenced by the Honorable Amy Berman Jackson. As part of his plea agreement, he agreed to forfeiture of the money wrongly obtained.
Four others have pled guilty to charges and been sentenced. They include James M. Woosley, 48, ICE’s former acting director of intelligence; Ahmed Adil Abdallat, 64, a former ICE supervisory intelligence research specialist; Stephen E. Henderson, 62, a former contractor who did work for ICE; and Lateisha M. Rollerson, 38, a former assistant to Woosley. Abdallat pled guilty in the Western District of Texas, and the others pled guilty in the District of Columbia.
Woosley was sentenced earlier this month to 20 months in prison. Abdallat was sentenced to a year and a day in prison. Henderson was sentenced to three months in prison. Rollerson was sentenced to 10 months in prison. All the defendants also must pay restitution.
All told, the actions of the various defendants cost ICE more than $500,000.
According to the government’s evidence, with which Korn agreed, at all relevant times, Korn was either an intelligence research specialist or a supervisory intelligence research specialist for ICE’s Office of Intelligence, Homeland Security Investigations.
The charge stems from Korn’s dealings with Rollerson and Woosley, who was a supervisor in Korn’s chain-of-command.
For much of the scheme, Korn was on a temporary assignment in Washington, D.C., from his base in Tucson. When a U.S. government employee is officially on duty in a location other than the employee’s permanent duty station, that is referred to as Temporary Duty (TDY) status. While on TDY, the employee is entitled to a per diem allowance for lodging, meals, and other expenses. The scheme involved the improper use of TDY money.
Beginning in October 2008, Woosley approved Korn being on TDY status in Washington, pending a permanent move from Korn’s previous posting in Tucson. In October of 2008, Korn entered into a verbal agreement with Woosley and Rollerson to lease a house in Alexandria, Virginia, where all three would reside together.
The plan called for Korn to pay the rent and utilities for the residence from his TDY funds.
Between October 2008 and June 2009, Korn filed TDY travel vouchers and paid $2,650 to $10,000 per month for the household expenses while retaining the remainder of the per diem money for himself. Because Korn did not itemize the negotiated $2,650 rent on his travel voucher, but claimed the traditional, higher hotel rate for lodging for this period of time, Korn wrongfully obtained approximately $3,000 per month more than that to which he was entitled.
In February 2009, Korn was selected by ICE for a permanent supervisory intelligence research specialist position in Washington, D.C. Korn delayed accepting the position because Woosley wanted to extend Korn’s TDY status—and corresponding per diem payments—to continue to pay the rent and utilities for the Alexandria residence. However, in May 2009, Korn declined the position in Washington and told Woosley that he did not want to lose the equity in his home in Arizona that would result from him making the move. In June 2009, Woosley told Korn to pay all of Korn’s TDY voucher funds to him so that Woosley could buy a house in Stafford, Virginia. Woosley told Korn that he would make up the difference later with Korn with TDYs to South America and the Philippines.
In July 2009, Korn returned to his personal home and job in Tucson. Rollerson subsequently told Korn that he needed to continue to file TDY vouchers to pay the rent for the Alexandria residence. Korn continued to file vouchers to pay the rent for the Alexandria residence from July 2009 to December 2009—even though he knew he was no longer entitled to be obtaining the TDY money. He also continued to pay for the rent for the Alexandria residence with the wrongfully obtained TDY funds, partly because he was concerned about retribution from Woosley. Finally, in December 2009, Korn declared that he was not going to pay any more rent for the Alexandria residence.
As a result of the submission of the TDY vouchers, Korn, aided by Woosley and Rollerson, received from ICE approximately $50,832 more than that to which he was entitled during the period of October of 2008 to December of 2009. Korn contends that he turned the vast majority of this money over to Woosley and Rollerson.
This case was investigated by the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of Professional Responsibility-Special Investigation Unit.
In announcing today’s sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen, Acting Inspector General Edwards, Assistant Director McJunkin, and Director Moynihan praised the investigative agents from the respective agencies for their hard work in this matter. They also acknowledged the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel Butler and Allison Barlotta, who handled this prosecution, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily Scruggs, who handled the asset forfeiture.