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Former NHTSA Employee Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Nearly $24,000 from the Government through False Claims for Overtime Pay

On June 14, Beatriz Lorena Villa, a former staff assistant at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) pled guilty in U. S. District Court in Washington, DC to a felony charge of embezzlement. Our investigation found that, between December 2001 and March 2004, Villa fraudulently claimed that she and another NHTSA staff assistant, Julia Goldson, had worked over 1,000 hours of overtime. In fact, the overtime was neither authorized nor performed. Villa received about $24,000 and Goldson more than $12,000 as a result of the fraudulent overtime claims. Goldson pled guilty to the same charge on June 1, and both await sentencing in August 2006. Both women resigned from NHTSA in October 2004.