US Embassy Jamaica: Ex-ARSO David J. Rainsberger Gets One Year In Prison for Accepting Gifts

— By Domani Spero


In February 2013, USDOJ announced that David J. Rainsberger, 32, a law enforcement officer with the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service, pleaded guilty to receiving unlawful gratuities while stationed at the U.S. embassy in Kingston, Jamaica, and making false statements to the United States government on a national security questionnaire required to maintain his security clearance.

Today, July 9, the AP reported that the former Assistant Regional Security Officer (ARSO) has been sentenced to a year in prison for accepting gifts in exchange for helping a Jamaican musician gain a U.S. visa.

The unlawful gratuities include two luxury watches worth approximately $2,500 plus backstage access, free admission to nightclubs and a party hosted by an unnamed Jamaican musician.

We previously blogged about this here – see DS Agent David J. Rainsberger Pleads Guilty to Receiving Unlawful Gratuities, False Statements.

Originally scheduled to be sentenced on April 19, 2013, Rainsberger did face a maximum penalty of two years in prison on the gratuities charge and five years in prison on the false statements charge.  It looks like the false statements charge was dropped and he got one year instead of the maximum two year penalty for the gratuities charge. The prosecutors reportedly sought a sentence of about two years while the defense sought home detention.

Here is a recap from the February announcement:

According to court records, Rainsberger served as an assistant regional security officer for investigations at the U.S. embassy in Kingston, Jamaica, from 2009 to 2011.  While there, Rainsberger befriended a well-known Jamaican musician whose entry to the U.S. had been barred because of allegations of criminal conduct.  Rainsberger’s investigation of this individual resulted in the reinstatement of his visa, which allowed the individual to travel to the U.S. to take advantage of performance and recording opportunities.  On account of the assistance Rainsberger provided him with respect to his U.S. visa, the musician purchased for Rainsberger two luxury watches worth approximately $2,500.  In addition, Rainsberger received free admission to nightclubs, backstage access to concerts, and a birthday party hosted by the musician.

At the same time, Rainsberger, who was already married, became engaged to a Jamaican national and intentionally withheld disclosure of the relationship from the U.S. government on Office of Personnel Management Standard Form 86, a national security questionnaire that requires disclosure of close and continuing contact with foreign nationals.  Rainsberger also repeatedly accessed, without authority, Department of State visa and passport databases for personal purposes.

While this individual only got one year in prison,  his career with the State Department or with any law enforcement agency is definitely over.   But there is an upside to being in prison according to Bloomberg Businessweek — “prison is a wonderful place to catch up on your reading.”    Bloomberg offers a survival guide here put together with the help of three “experts.”