Former employee at Sandia National Laboratories sentenced to 21 months in prison for mail fraud and theft

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            ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Joshua Cordova, 39, of Albuquerque, was sentenced in federal court on Dec. 9 to a year and nine months in prison for mail fraud and theft of federal funds. Cordova was indicted on Dec. 17, 2019, and pleaded guilty on May 5.

            From approximately 2010 to December 2018, Cordova was employed by Sandia Corporation and later National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia, which were contracted by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to operate Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). Cordova’s duties included providing training to military, law enforcement and emergency response personnel in the use of equipment developed at SNL. Beginning in late 2012, Cordova applied for and was issued a purchasing card funded by DOE for the limited purpose of procuring equipment and materials necessary for Cordova to perform his duties at SNL.

             In his plea agreement, Cordova admitted that during the period from September 2014 through September 2018 he fraudulently used the government-funded procurement cards that had been entrusted to him to purchase items for the personal use of himself, his family, and his associates. These items included: jewelry; watches, clothing; shoes; golf clubs and golf accessories; exercise equipment; toys; barber equipment, furnishings and supplies; building materials; and home appliances.

            To conceal the fraudulent use of his purchasing card, Cordova made misrepresentations and false statements, claiming in his monthly reconciliation reports the purchases were legitimate items. For example, in August 2017, Cordova purchased a diamond ring for $944 from Amazon.com that was shipped to his home. In his monthly report, he represented the purchase as “2 carbon fiber Manfredo 510 tripods.”

            As part of his sentence, Cordova must forfeit several items that were recovered by investigators and make restitution to the United States in the sum of $136,107.  Upon his release from prison, Cordova will be subject to a term of three years of supervised release.

            The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Inspector General investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy S. Vasquez prosecuted the case.

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