Former Congressional Office Manager Pleads Guilty to Submitting Nearly $200,000 in Fraudulent Expense Vouchers
WASHINGTON - A former office manager for three members of the U.S. House of Representatives, Laura I. Flores, 47, of Arlington, Va, pled guilty today in Alexandria in the Eastern District of Virginia to a one-count criminal information charging her with wire fraud, announced Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg for the Eastern District of Virginia.
According to the criminal information, from January 2005 through December 2006, during the course of her employment, Flores falsified and submitted to the House of Representatives Finance Office in Washington, D.C., a series of false expense vouchers totaling approximately $200,000 to be paid from funds allocated to the three members of the House of Representatives for whom Flores worked. These funds are allotted to each House member’s office and used to pay for staff salaries, rents for district offices, and other expenses.
Through these false expense vouchers, which she submitted for items such as periodical subscriptions, commercial database access, and office supplies, Flores fraudulently obtained reimbursement for expenses that she did not incur; for products that she either never ordered, or that she ordered and returned after receiving reimbursement; and multiple reimbursements for products that she had purchased only once.
Her submission of the fraudulent expense vouchers caused the House Finance Office to initiate a wire transfer of funds as “reimbursements” from the Federal Reserve to defendant Flores’ personal bank account in Virginia.
The defendant faces a maximum term of 20 years of imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. District Court Judge Leonie M. Brinkema set sentencing for May, 2, 2008.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Office of Inspector General, U.S. House of Representatives. The case is being prosecuted by Steve Linick, Deputy Chief in the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section; Matthew Klecka, Trial Attorney in the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section; and Jack Hanly, Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia.
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