John C. Beale, a former high-ranking Environmental Protection Agency official, was sentenced on Dec. 18 to 32 months in federal prison and a $1.3-million fine for fraudulently receiving almost $900,000 in pay and benefits for lengthy periods of time he wasn't at work.
Beale, 65, pled guilty in September to committing fraud over the past decade at EPA, falsely telling his supervisors that he was a Central Intelligence Agency agent and being paid for about two and a half years of work when he wasn't actually on the job at EPA.

Beale’s excesses were detailed in two EPA Inspector General's office reports, released on Dec. 11. The reports were requested by Sen. David Vitter (La.), the ranking Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee.

At the sentencing in U.S. District Court  for the District of Columbia, Judge Ellen Huvelle told Beale that he had “put a stain on the entire federal workforce.”

Beale said that greed and the excitement of being able to get away with the deceptions motivated him. He added, “I deeply regret the wreckage and pain I have caused.”

Huvelle said that Beale had 14 days to file an appeal.  

Beale worked at EPA from 1989 until last April 30 and for much of that period was a senior policy advisor in the agency's air and radiation office.

Alisha Johnson, an EPA spokeswoman, said in an emailed statement: “We commend the U.S. Attorney's Office and the EPA’s Office of Inspector General for their efforts in working to secure yesterday’s conviction."

Johnson said that since "uncovering" Beale's "deliberate deception and fraud stretching back over a decade," EPA "has worked in close coordination with both parties and continues to take actions that establish additional safeguards to help protect against further fraud and abuse related to employee time and attendance, including strengthening supervisory controls of time and attendance, improved review of employee travel and a tightened retention incentive process.”