There's calling in sick with a little white lie, and then there's this guy: A former high-ranking official with the EPA pleaded guilty today to stealing nearly $900,000 from the agency over 13 years by failing to show up for work while falsely claiming to be working for the CIA. John C. Beale, 64, a former deputy assistant administrator in the Office of Air and Radiation, accepted a plea agreement with the government at a court hearing. Under the deal, Beale faces 30 to 37 months in prison, and he must pay restitution of $886,000, forfeit an additional $507,000, and pay a fine of up to $60,000.
According to the statement of offense that he signed, Beale started taking one day a week off from work starting in 2000, and indicated on his EPA electronic calendar he was working at the CIA's Directorate of Operations. He told an EPA manager that he had been assigned to an interagency, special advisory group. For 102 days from 2000 to June 2008, Beale took off while claiming to work for the CIA, the court document says. Beginning in June 2008, Beale was a no-show at work for about six months, telling managers and employees he was working on the research project or working for "Langley," where the CIA is based. Then he took off from June 2011 to December 2012 for his claimed CIA work, even after he announced he was retiring from the EPA. In total, he took about 2 1/2 years off from work. (Read more strange stuff stories.)