US Embassy Costa Rica Sub-Contractor Gets 30 Months For Stealing USG Funds #VisaFees

This past July, we blogged about US Embassy Costa Rica’s sub-contractor who leaded guilty to the theft of visa fees (see What did we miss?).  On September 7, USDOJ announced that the contractor, Mauricio Andulo Hidalgo, age 43, of Costa Rica was sentenced to 30 months in prison for theft of government funds.

Via USDOJ:

Charleston, South Carolina —- United States Attorney Sherri A. Lydon announced today that Mauricio Andulo Hidalgo, age 43, of Costa Rica, was sentenced to a term of 30 months in prison by the United States District Court in Charleston for stealing from the United States Government.

Hidalgo previously pled guilty to Theft of Government Funds, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 641.  United States District Judge Patrick Michael Duffy, of Charleston, imposed the sentence, which also includes three years of supervised release and mandatory restitution.

Evidence presented at a change of plea hearing established that Hidalgo used his position as President of SafetyPay-Central America to steal over $293,832 of government funds that were supposed to be transferred to a bank account maintained by the Department of State’s Global Financial Services Center in Charleston.  SafetyPay-Central America had been hired as a subcontractor to handle the processing of visa application fees for the United States Embassy in Costa Rica.  As part of the scheme, Hidalgo diverted the funds from a SafetyPay bank account in Costa Rica to another Costa Rican account under his sole control.

The case was investigated by special agent Katherine Kovacek of the Department of State/Office of Inspector General, which is led by Inspector General Steve A. Linick.  Assistant United States Attorneys Marshall “Matt” Austin and Nathan Williams both of the Charleston Office prosecuted the case.

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Ex-State Dept Employee Steven Medlock Sentenced to Probation and Home Detention for Embezzlement

Via The Post and Courier:

A Charleston judge has sentenced a former U.S. State Department employee to probation and home detention for embezzling almost $59,000 from the federal government.

Steven Medlock, 60, of Summerville, pleaded guilty to the theft last year.

U.S. District Court Judge Richard M. Gergel sentenced Medlock to one year of probation and four months of home detention, according to a document signed and filed Friday. Medlock also must pay a $3,000 fine and cannot possess firearms or other dangerous weapons.

He had faced a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years in a supervised release program.

Gergel received more than a dozen letters of support for Medlock from his family, acquaintances and former co-workers, including one from his ex-boss at the State Department.

Medlock had repaid all the money before waiving indictment and pleading guilty in August, according to Rhett DeHart, assistant U.S. attorney.
[…]
An anonymous tipster alerted law enforcement.

Read in full here.

Medlock is reportedly a disbursement specialist for the State Department’s Global Financial Services Center, which handles worldwide billings and other transactions for the agency.  The Global Financial Services Center (GFSC), is located in North Charleston, South Carolina; it occupies approximately 7 acres of a 20 acre complex, which the Department of State (DoS) shares with other tenants.