Former USAID Contracting Officer Pleads Guilty to Making False Claim to USAID for Separate Maintenance Allowance

Press Release

WASHINGTON – A former contracting officer with the U.S. Agency for International Development (“USAID”), Waymon A. Carroll, 61, of Washington, D.C., pleaded guilty today to one count of making a false claim, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 287, Acting U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips and Adrienne R. Rish, USAID Assistant Inspector General for Investigations, announced today.

Carroll entered his guilty plea this afternoon before the Honorable Gladys Kessler, U.S. District Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Carroll faces a maximum statutory sentence of five years of incarceration; under the voluntary federal sentencing guidelines, he faces a sentencing range of zero to six months of incarceration. As part of his plea, Carroll agreed to pay $14,039.86 in restitution to the U.S. government. He is scheduled to be sentenced on August 18, 2009.

According to the charging documents, between December 2006 and July 2008, while he was a USAID employee, Carroll submitted 19 vouchers to USAID seeking a separate maintenance allowance (“SMA”) for a total of $14,039.86. The SMA is an allowance provided by USAID to assist employees assigned to a foreign post with meeting the additional expenses of maintaining eligible family members in the United States. USAID employees are ineligible for the SMA if they are legally separated from a spouse, even if technically still married.

Carroll was ineligible to receive the SMA payments in question because he was legally separated from his wife. In January 2006, Carroll moved out of the residence that he shared with his wife in Virginia and relocated to Gaborone, Botswana. At that time, he intended to permanently separate from his wife. On May 14, 2007, Carroll’s wife filed for an uncontested divorce in Virginia. Included in the filing was a separation agreement that had been signed by Carroll in November 2006.

As part of his scheme to receive SMA payments for which he was ineligible, Carroll made misrepresentations to USAID officials about his marital status. For example, Carroll told USAID officials that he and his wife had reconciled and that he had not completed any written agreements indicating legal separation.

In announcing the plea, Acting U.S. Attorney Phillips and USAID Assistant Inspector General for Investigations Rish commended the outstanding investigative work of the agents of the USAID Office of Inspector General. They also acknowledged the efforts of former Legal Assistant April Peeler, Legal Assistant Jamasee Lucas, and Assistant U.S. Attorney David Johnson, who is prosecuting the case.