Peter F. Rouse, age 37, of Reisterstown, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to theft of government property in connection with a scheme in which he used his government issued fleet credit card to purchase thousands of dollars in gas for his personal vehicle.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Acting Inspector General Cynthia A. Schnedar, U.S. Department of Justice Office of Inspector General; Michael Prout, Assistant Director of the U.S. Marshals Service, Office of Internal Investigations; and U.S. Marshal Edwin D. Sloane of Washington, D.C.
According to his plea agreement, Rouse was a Deputy United States Marshal. In December, 2008, he was assigned to the District of Columbia office of the United States Marshal’s Service. As part of his responsibilities, Rouse was given a government-owned vehicle (GOV) to use for U.S. Marshal’s Service business. He also was given a government vehicle fleet card to purchase gasoline and routine maintenance for the vehicle, a 2004 Ford Crown Victoria sedan.
During the summer of 2010, the Marshals Service received information that Rouse had been using his vehicle fleet charge card for personal use. A routine audit showed that Rouse had incurred fleet card charges that were significantly higher than other U.S. Marshals employees and that the charges occurred on weekends, holidays, after duty hours, on successive days, while on annual leave, and in quantities exceeding the capacity of the fuel tank in his GOV, which had a maximum capacity of 19 gallons.
Investigators viewed videotapes from some of the gas stations where Rouse’s fleet card had been used which showed Rouse filling up his Ford F150 pickup truck at locations in Maryland and Virginia at a time when Rouse had claimed sick leave, and on dates and times when he was not on duty. In November, 2010, investigators placed GPS tracking devices on Rouse’s Ford F150 pickup truck and on his GOV. The GPS showed that purchases were made using Rouse’s fleet card at times that his GOV was not at the gas station, but his Ford F150 pickup truck was present.
The total loss as a result of the scheme is between $4,000 and $8,300, with the exact amount to be determined at sentencing.
Rouse faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Chief U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow, has scheduled sentencing for January 4, 2012 at 2:15 p.m. As part of his plea agreement, Rouse must separate from the United States Marshals Service effective immediately following the acceptance of his plea by the Court.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Marshals Service, Office of Internal Investigations and the Washington, D.C. U.S. Marshals Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Hollis R. Weisman, who is prosecuting the case.