In an incredible story that sounds like the plot from a bad movie or a dime store book, the Environmental Protection Agency's highest-paid employee and a leading expert on climate change was just sentenced to 32 months in prison for lying to his bosses so he could avoid actually doing any real work. Even more amazing is the lie that he told to get out of working. He told his superiors at the EPA that he was a CIA spy working in Pakistan! Incredible as it seems, even more incredible may be the fact that these lies carried on for some 15 years before anyone caught wind that John C. Beele was committing a massive fraud on the government and the American taxpayers.
Beele was making more than $200K a year while not actually doing anything… but Beele found other ways to bilk the taxpayers by billing the government for personal travel and claiming to be suffering from diseases he contracted while working (he had no diseases and didn't even go to the places where he said he contracted them)! It is perhaps the best and most glaring example of what happens when government grows too cumbersome to police itself.
Even still, many liberals are responding quickly to defend the EPA, the bloated bureaucracy, and their faith in this corrupt system.
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The EPA's highest-paid employee and a leading expert on climate change was sentenced to 32 months in federal prison Wednesday for lying to his bosses and saying he was a CIA spy working in Pakistan so he could avoid doing his real job.
John C. Beale's crimes were "inexplicable" and "unbelievably egregious," said Judge Ellen Huvelle in imposing the sentence in a Washington. D.C. federal court. Beale has also agreed to pay $1.3 million in restitution and forfeiture to the government.
Beale said he was ashamed of his lies about working for the CIA, a ruse that, according to court records, began in 2000 and continued until early this year.
"Why did I do this? Greed – simple greed – and I'm ashamed of that greed," Beale told the court. He also said it was possible that he got a "rush" and a "sense of excitement" by telling people he was worked for the CIA. "It was something like an addiction," he said.
Beale pled guilty in September to bilking the government out of nearly $1 million in salary and other benefits over a decade. He perpetrated his fraud largely by failing to show up at the EPA for months at a time, including one 18-month stretch starting in June 2011 when he did "absolutely no work," as his lawyer acknowledged in a sentencing memo filed last week.
When Huvelle asked Beale what he was doing when he claimed he was working for the CIA, he said, "I spent time exercising. I spent a lot of time working on my house."
He also said he used the time "trying to find ways to fine tune the capitalist system" to discourage companies from damaging the environment. "I spent a lot of time reading on that," said Beale.
Prosecutor Jim Smith said Beale's crimes made him a "poster child for what is wrong with government."