Climate Change Expert Sentenced to 32 Months for Fraud, Says Lying Was a ‘Rush’

Screen shot 2013-12-16 at 2.38.03 PM.JPGThe EPA’s highest-paid employee and a leading expert on climate change was sentenced to 32 months in federal prison Wednesday for lying to his bosses and saying he was a CIA spy working in Pakistan so he could avoid doing his real job.

John C. Beale’s crimes were “inexplicable” and “unbelievably egregious,” said Judge Ellen Huvelle in imposing the sentence in a Washington. D.C. federal court. Beale has also agreed to pay $1.3 million in restitution and forfeiture to the government . . .

“Why did I do this? Greed – simple greed – and I’m ashamed of that greed,” Beale told the court. He also said it was possible that he got a “rush” and a “sense of excitement” by telling people he was worked for the CIA. “It was something like an addiction,” he said.

Beale pled guilty in September to bilking the government out of nearly $1 million in salary and other benefits over a decade. He perpetrated his fraud largely by failing to show up at the EPA for months at a time, including one 18-month stretch starting in June 2011 when he did “absolutely no work,” as his lawyer acknowledged in a sentencing memo filed last week.

When Huvelle asked Beale what he was doing when he claimed he was working for the CIA, he said, “I spent time exercising. I spent a lot of time working on my house.” (Read more from “Climate Change Expert Sentenced to 32 Months for Fraud, Says Lying Was a ‘Rush'” HERE)

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