EPA Employee to Plead Guilty of Stealing $900,000 from Government

A high-level employee of the Environmental Protection Agency will plead guilty of defrauding the government of nearly $900,000, the Washington Post reports. Over a period of twelve years, John C. Beale allegedly collected that amount in salary, benefits, and retention-incentive bonuses that he didn’t earn:

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. . . .

He frequently traveled to China, South Africa and England, according to several people who worked with him. He would describe his trips and mention a lingering case of malaria.

The Arlington County resident told colleagues that his stints away from the office were for “sensitive work for another agency,” according to an official familiar with the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case is pending.

Beale, who worked at the EPA on air-quality issues under several administrations beginning in the late 1980s, served under current EPA administrator Gina McCarthy for part of the time he was engaged in his scheme. Anonymous defenders of McCarthy told the Post that she discovered his behavior and brought it to the attention of authorities, forcing him into early retirement in April. His base salary when he retired was $164,700.

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