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Former Air Force Employee From Brandywine Facing Federal Indictment For Stealing More Than $774,000

GREENBELT, Md. – A federal grand jury has indicted Eddie Ray Johnson, Jr., age 59, of Brandywine, Maryland, on federal charges of theft of government property and money laundering.  The indictment was returned on July 6, 2020.

The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Lt. General James C. “Jim” Slife of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI); Special Agent in Charge Robert E. Craig, Jr. of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), Mid-Atlantic Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Kelly R. Jackson of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), Washington, D.C. Field Office.

According to the indictment, from January 2003 to February 2018, Johnson was a civilian Air Force employee, most recently as a travel coordinator in the Secretary of the Air Force, Office of Legislative Liaison, where he planned congressional travel and reviewed and approved accounting packages submitted by trip escorts, among other duties.  The indictment alleges that from March 2014 through September 2017, Johnson used his government-issued travel credit card to obtain more than $1.1 million in cash advances, at least $774,000 of which he diverted to his own personal use.

According to the indictment, Johnson frequently deposited the stolen funds into a non-interest bearing account opened in his name at a bank branch in the Pentagon.  Employees in the Office of Legislative Liaison were instructed to open such accounts so that they could more easily deposit and withdraw government funds for official use without accruing interest.  After depositing the stolen funds, Johnson allegedly wrote checks to himself, which he deposited into his personal bank accounts, as well as expended the money for his personal use.

If convicted, Johnson faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison for theft of government property and a maximum of 20 years in federal prison for money laundering.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.  An initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt has not yet been scheduled.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt.  An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings. 

United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the AFOSI, the DCIS, and the IRS-CI for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dana J. Brusca and Elizabeth G. Wright, who are prosecuting the case.

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