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Defendant stole over $5,000 in false overtime claims

 

WASHINGTON, DC – The former director of switchboard operations at the White House pled guilty today to a charge of theft of government property for a scheme in which she stole over $5,000 through altered time and attendance records, announced U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips and Paul M. Abbate, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

Andrea Turk, 46, of Upper Marlboro, Md., pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The Honorable Senior Judge Gladys Kessler scheduled sentencing for April 20, 2016.  The charge, a felony, carries a statutory maximum of 10 years in prison and potential financial penalties. Under the advisory federal sentencing guidelines, Turk faces up to six months of incarceration and a fine of up to $20,000. She has agreed to pay restitution as well as a forfeiture money judgment of $5,015.

According to a statement of offense, signed by the defendant as well as the government, Turk was the director of switchboard operations at the White House from October 2009 until her termination in August 2013. She was responsible for managing approximately 15 switchboard operators, including oversight of their work schedules and approval of overtime hours. Additionally, she was responsible for final entry and approval of all time and attendance records of the switchboard operators, including one identified in court documents as “Employee A.”

Beginning at least as early as June 2, 2012, through July 27, 2013, Turk used her supervisory position to alter the time and attendance records of “Employee A” to reflect overtime hours that were not actually worked. In turn, “Employee A” paid Turk money generated through the scheme. Over that time-frame, “Employee A” was paid approximately $12,475 for 396 overtime hours, but only actually worked and legitimately earned less than approximately 50 of these hours. As a result, “Employee A” received approximately $10,900 in overtime pay from the United States government to which “Employee A” was not entitled. “Employee A” thereafter paid approximately $5,015 to Turk, mostly through a series of bank transfers.

No other charges were filed in the investigation.

In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Phillips and Assistant Director in Charge Abbate commended the work of those who investigated the case from the FBI’s Washington Field Office. They also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialist Tasha Harris, Legal Assistant Angela Lawrence, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Diane Lucas, who assisted with forfeiture issues. Finally, they expressed appreciation for the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney David A. Last, who investigated and prosecuted the matter.

Source: U.S. Department of Justice

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