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Former FAA Employee's Brother Convicted in Government Property Theft Scheme

On June 29, Bradley A. Garner of Palm Desert, California, was convicted of wire fraud, theft of honest services, mail fraud, and unlawful monetary transactions after a three–week jury trial in U.S. District Court in Tacoma, Washington. Mr. Garner was involved in a scheme to misappropriate $2.8 million worth of Federal property such as boats, planes, vehicles, and computers. He is scheduled to be sentenced on September 28, 2009. In April 2008, OIG received a referral from the General Services Administration (GSA) Office of Inspector General regarding Mr. Garner and his half–brother Steven Smith, a former field technician with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in San Diego, California. The referral alleged that Mr. Smith caused the transfer of ownership of a 44–foot sailboat from GSA’s excess property inventory to DOT, without authority to do so. The subsequent investigation revealed that since 2004, Mr. Smith illegally obtained 215 items from the GSA property system, including a Cessna 210; two 27–foot Boston Whalers; several computers; and the aforementioned 44–foot Navy yacht. Mr. Smith gave the yacht and the Cessna to his brother, Mr. Garner. In November 2008, OIG arrested Mr. Smith and Mr. Garner and they were subsequently indicted by a Federal Grand Jury in February 2009. Mr. Smith resigned from the FAA in January 1, 2009. Mr. Smith’s trial is scheduled for October 6, 2009.

Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the government, all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.