Immigration Official Guilty Of Defrauding The Government
James M. Woosley, the former acting director of intelligence for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), has pleaded guilty to defrauding the government of more than $180,000 in a scheme involving fraudulent travel vouchers and time and attendance claims.
Woosley pleaded guilty to a charge of conversion of government money. Under federal guidelines, Woosley faces a likely sentence of 18 to 27 months in prison as well as a potential fine. In addition, as part of his plea agreement, he agreed to forfeiture of the money he wrongfully obtained.
Prosecutors say that four others earlier pleaded guilty to charges related to the scheme: Ahmed Adil Abdallat, a former ICE supervisory intelligence research specialist, pleaded guilty in October 2011; William J. Korn, a former ICE intelligence research specialist, pleaded guilty in December 2011; Stephen E. Henderson, a former contractor doing work for ICE, pleaded guilty in January 2012; and Lateisha M. Rollerson, a former assistant to Woosley, pleaded guilty in March 2012.
All told, prosecutors say, the actions of the various defendants cost ICE more than $600,000.
According to the government’s evidence, with which Woosley agreed:
From in or about May 2008 until in or about January 2011, Woosley participated in the fraudulent activity involving travel vouchers and time and attendance claims. In addition, from June 2008 until in or about February 2011, Woosley was aware of or willfully overlooked fraudulent activity of ICE employees under his supervision or contract employees.
The other employees included Rollerson, who he met in or about 2007, while he was Deputy Director for ICE’s Office of Intelligence. Woosley and Rollerson developed a close, personal relationship. In or about May 2008, Rollerson was hired as an intelligence reports writer for a company that did contract work for ICE. Later that year, she was hired by ICE as an intelligence research specialist. This placed her first in the chain of command under Woosley, and she later became Woosley’s personal assistant.
Rollerson’s official duty station was in Washington, D.C., and she lived in Virginia, often with Woosley. Rollerson helped Woosley and the other participants with the paperwork to support the fraudulent payments they later received.
Woosley admitted obtaining money in various ways:
- Between in or about May 2008 and January 2011, Woosley submitted or caused to be submitted approximately 13 fraudulent travel vouchers to ICE, at a cost of $50,637. As Woosley’s assistant, Rollerson created all but one of the travel vouchers, as well as fraudulent documents to support the claimed expenses. She often accompanied him on the trips.
- Between in or about November 2009 and January 2011, Woosley submitted or caused to be submitted time and attendance claims for his pay for work he was supposed to be doing while he was on travel. Because he was not actually on travel or working, he was not entitled to the payments of approximately $27,230.
- Starting in 2008, Woosley took a share of the fraudulent proceeds obtained by others in a scheme involving travel vouchers. For example, Henderson, an ICE contractor who was detailed on temporary duty to Washington, D.C., kicked back $5,000 to Woosley that was used to purchase a boat. Henderson also lived with Woosley and used some fraudulent proceeds to pay rent. Abdallat wrote checks to Rollerson and others for the benefit of Woosley and Rollerson totaling about $58,550. Korn kicked back about $30,648 to the benefit of Woosley and Rollerson. Finally, an unnamed contract employee gave $15,940 in fraudulent travel voucher funds to Woosley, which Woosley used for a real estate investment.