Mathews woman sentenced for theft of government property

- Posted on Mar 20, 2019 - 01:13 PM

Computer fraud and theft of government property in connection with an extensive timekeeping fraud that resulted in losses of over $1.4 million, which she was ordered to pay in restitution. 

According to documents filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Michelle M. Holt, 52, was previously employed as a federal employee of the U.S. Department of Defense. 

Holt  worked as a secretary for the U.S. Air Force, Air Combat Command, Communication Support Squadron at Joint Base Langley-Eustis. She was a salaried employee on the General Schedule (GS) grade for the federal civilian workforce.

As such, she was entitled to overtime pay if authorized by her employer, and was also entitled to other forms of holiday and annual leave, and premium pay for any federal holidays worked.

A law enforcement investigation determined that from December 2001 to July 2018, Holt falsely claimed over 42,000 hours in unauthorized time for hours she did not work, along with other amounts of unauthorized holiday leave, sick leave and annual leave, all amounting to losses to the United States of more than $1.4 million. 

In recent years, Holt’s overtime pay was over double that of her regular salary. Holt accomplished the fraud by making manual retroactive adjustments to protected computer time and attendance systems to add overtime, reverse leave taken and reverse holiday leave. In doing so, Holt used another employee’s log-in information without that employee’s knowledge or authorization.