How an EPA employee stole $900K by pretending to be a CIA agent
BY: CJ Ciaramella — Free Beacon
October 2, 2013 12:24 pm
The strange and sordid saga of John Beale, a top Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official who defrauded the federal government out of nearly $900,000, has by turns outraged, flabbergasted, and sickened members of Congress, but on Tuesday it achieved something even rarer: It left them speechless.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.), the head of the powerful House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, had asked one of Beale’s former supervisors, Robert Brenner, if he had seen Beale lately.
“I’ve seen Mr. Beale,” Brenner testified, pausing to chew over his next sentence. “Well, I’ve seen him a lot over the last two weeks. He’s renting out his home, so he’s staying in my guest house right now.”
For a brief moment, the oversight committee, usually full of bluster, was left gob smacked.
Over the course of two congressional hearings Monday and Tuesday, new details emerged about Beale, a former top EPA official who over the course of 13 years bilked the agency out hundreds of thousands of dollars in fraudulent travel vouchers and illegal bonuses. Along the way, Beale falsely claimed to be an agent for the Central Intelligence Agency, a Vietnam War veteran, and remained on payroll for over a year after a retirement party on a Potomac dinner cruise.
Overall, Beale spent two and a half years absent from work while still getting paid. According to investigators, he committed time card fraud, travel fraud, impersonated a federal agent, and misused a government passport, among other crimes.
In the House oversight hearing, Issa noted that if Beale had actually retired, he would have gotten away scot-free.
“That is 100 percent correct,” Sullivan replied.
“I guess we should be happy he got greedy,” Issa said.
What a sordid affair and going on for decades. What does it take to get to the bottom of things?