Climate Change Expert’s Fraud was ‘Crime of Massive Proportion,’ say Feds

Former high-ranking Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official John Beale testifies before the House Oversight Committee on Oct. 1, 2013.

Former high-ranking Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official John Beale testifies before the House Oversight Committee on Oct. 1, 2013.

Michael Isikoff reports:  The EPA’s highest-paid employee and a leading expert on climate change deserves to go to prison for at least 30 months for lying to his bosses and saying he was a CIA spy working in Pakistan so he could avoid doing his real job, say federal prosecutors.

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 lies were a “crime of massive proportion” that were “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.”

The two sentencing memos, along with documents obtained by NBC News, offer new details about what some officials describe as one of the most audacious, and creative, federal frauds they have ever encountered.

Read the rest of this entry »


Another EPA Official Under Investigation in CIA Scheme

epa

 and  report: Investigators for the Environmental Protection Agency are reviewing the activity of another high-level official in the agency’s Air and Radiation Office to determine whether to forward the case for possible prosecution, according to congressional aides briefed on the matter.

Investigators for the EPA’s inspector general’s office described the woman as a “person of interest,” according to the aides. She approved many of the lavish travel and lodging expenses run up by John C. Beale, the EPA executive who has pleaded guilty to defrauding the government of nearly $900,000 in pay, bonuses and travel reimbursement while he masqueraded as a CIA agent. Beale is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday.

All three of then-Assistant Administrator Gina McCarthy’s deputies in the Office of Air and Radiation have come up in the investigation: Beale; Robert Brenner, a longtime friend of Beale’s who acknowledged accepting an $8,000 discount on a luxury car allegedly arranged by a lobbyist who did business with the EPA; and the woman who approved Beale’s travel.

The woman “was making the majority of the decisions and authorized the actions that enabled” the fraud, said one person briefed about the investigation, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the report had not been made public yet.

Read the rest of this entry »


EPA Crimes: Former Advisor Beale expected to plead guilty in $900,000 pay fraud

English: The headquarters of the United States...

The headquarters of the United States Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C.

By  and 

Over the past 12 years, John C. Beale was often away from his job as a high-level staffer at the Environmental Protection Agency. He cultivated an air of mystery and explained his lengthy absences by telling his bosses that he was doing top-secret work, including for the CIA.

Now, Beale is charged with stealing nearly $900,000 from the EPA by receiving pay and bonuses he did not deserve. He faces up to three years in prison.

Read the rest of this entry »