Investigations

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Virginia Resident Sentenced to Four Years in Jail for the Theft of a DOT Laptop Computer and over $100,000 in Transit Benefit Checks

On July 27, 2009, Vincent Land of Norfolk, Virginia was sentenced in Virginia State Court, Norfolk, Virginia, to four years imprisonment, three years of which were suspended, for grand larceny. On August 10, 2009, co–conspirators Jacques Cowell and Marquis Vinson pleaded guilty to the aforementioned charge and each received a two–year suspended sentence. These sentences result from the defendants’ roles in the May 4, 2009 theft of a DOT laptop computer and over $100,000 in transit benefit checks.

The OIG investigation determined that the defendants and a fourth individual, who was not charged, checked into a Doubletree Hotel in Norfolk, Virginia, where a DOT contractor was staying. When the DOT contractor checked in, the hotel desk clerk failed to save the transaction in the hotel computer system; therefore; the hotel computer system indicated that the contractor’s room was available and it was assigned as if it were a vacant room. Upon entering the room, the defendants took the government–issued laptop computer and roughly $103,800 in transit benefit checks. The majority of the stolen transit benefit checks were recovered.