Investigations

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Former FAA Employee Sentenced to 42 Months Imprisonment for Scheme to Steal Excess Government Property

On June 30, 2010, Steven B. Smith, former Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) field technician, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Tacoma, Washington, to 42 months imprisonment, 36 months of supervised release, and was ordered to pay 186,619.22 in restitution for wire fraud and theft of honest services. Mr. Smith used his position as an FAA employee to steal government boats, planes, trucks and electronics from the Federal government's excess property referral system.

This investigation was initiated as a result of a referral from the General Services Administration (GSA), Office of Inspector General alleging that Mr. Smith used the GSA excess property website to transfer ownership of a 44-foot sailboat from GSA's excess property inventory to DOT, despite having no authority to do so. Subsequent investigation determined Mr. Smith stole the sailboat, and that he had used the GSA excess property website to steal 200-plus other items, including a Cessna 210; two 27-foot Boston Whalers; and a yacht valued at more than $400,000. Many of these items later ended up in Mr. Smith's half-brothers possession. Smith's half brother, Brad Garner, was sentenced to 54 months imprisonment following a three week trial for his role in the aforementioned scheme.

The investigation was conducted jointly with the General Services Administration, Office of the Inspector General, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Naval Criminal Investigation Service, Army Criminal Investigation Division, Defense Criminal Investigation Service, and Federal Bureau of Investigation.