Former DOD Subcontractor Sentenced to Federal Prison for Submitting False Claims For Hours Worked

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Office worker puts a wad of money in his pocket

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge George L. Russell, III sentenced Melissa Heyer, age 46, of Gaithersburg, Maryland to a year and a day in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for submitting false claims to the United States, specifically for claiming to have worked hours on a government contract when she allegedly was not at work.  Judge Russell also ordered Heyer to pay $107,300 in restitution.

The sentence was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner; Elton Howell, Assistant Inspector General for Investigations (Acting), Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)- Office of Inspector General (OIG); and Special Agent in Charge Christopher Dillard, of the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Mid-Atlantic Field Office.

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According to her plea agreement, Company A was a subcontractor for Company B, providing employees that performed national security duties for the Department of Defense (DOD).  From January 2017 until March 2019, Heyer worked for Company A, but was assigned on a day-to-day basis to work for the DOD on national security matters at the National Security Agency (NSA), in Fort Meade, Maryland. 

From January 2017 through March 2019, Heyer held a Top Secret-Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) security clearance and performed her duties for Company A and the DOD at a sensitive compartmented information facility (SCIF) at the NSA facility where she worked.  She used a badge reader to gain access to the SCIF.  On at least five occasions between January 2017 and March 2019, Heyer falsely represented to her employer that she had been working at the NSA SCIF when she was actually elsewhere.  Heyer caused false claims to be submitted to the DOD that resulted in the government paying more than $100,000 to Company A, Company B, and Heyer, to which they and Heyer were not entitled.

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In total, as result Heyer knowingly caused the government to be billed for more than 1,200 hours of her time when she had actually not worked.             

Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner praised the DIA OIG and DCIS for their work on the investigation and thanked the U.S. CYBERCOM Office of Inspector General for its assistance.  Mr. Lenzner thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Harry M. Gruber, who prosecuted the case.

For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-md and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.

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