Contracting

Prison sentence for GSA Advantage fraudster

fraud in digits 

The former civilian chief of logistics and program management for the Defense Department's Aviation and Missile Command in Virginia will serve 33 months in jail for reselling material he bought through GSA's electronic purchasing portal.

The former civilian DOD employee, 52-year-old Roy Friend, pleaded guilty to stealing government property last March. Friend's long-running scheme to buy and resell equipment over eBay with an accomplice stretched over five years, from August 2010 to about mid-2015, according to investigators and court documents.

The documents said that Friend used his GSA Advantage account to make approximately 666 orders through GSA Advantage and through U.S. Falcon, a company listed on a variety of federal civilian and defense contracting vehicles, including GSA's IT Schedule 70 and One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services. The purchases were paid for with a government credit card associated with Friend's work for the Department of Defense. The value of those orders was just under $2.3 million, according to court documents.

Investigators said many of the items purchased by Friend were for personal use. He would take other items to an outside business where he, or an associate, would strip off GSA shipping labels and resell the items via eBay.

According to documents filed by the prosecution, Friend stole and resold expensive power tools, generators, pressure washers and other big-ticket items from the government buying services.  

On Dec. 20, Friend was sentenced to serve 33 months in prison for stealing government property. He was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of about $716,000. According to the court records, Friend had already forfeited property to the federal government valued at $189,000.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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