La Plata woman sentenced to federal prison in plea deal
Former NIH employee guilty of wire fraud
A La Plata woman, a former National Institutes of Health employee, was sentenced to 21 months of active incarceration in federal prison on Friday for misusing her government-issued credit card to buy close to $22,000 of merchandise from retail stores over a 16day span, the U.S. States Attorney’s office announced.
The woman, Francesca Maria Daniele, 49, was ordered to pay restitution of $22,338.67 and will be subject to three years of supervised release following her pris- on stint, having entered a guilty plea for wire fraud in U.S. District Court of Maryland in Greenbelt.
In July 2014, Daniele worked for the NIH and was tasked with purchasing equipment from vendors and administering contracts on behalf of the agency. Using her government-issued credit card, Daniele spent approximately $21,830.19 on personal items, and attempted to conceal the scheme by falsely reporting that the card had been lost, according to the plea agreement.
A few months later in October, Daniele opened a credit card account under the name of her minor child and bought a laptop, a video game console, a ring and other items, and had them shipped to a hotel room she had rented by using a false name.
“United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the HHS-OIG for its work in the investigation, and thanked Assistant United States Attorney Thomas P. Windom and Trial Attorney Justin D. Weitz of the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section, who prosecuted the case,” states a USAO press release.