Ex-USAID director pleads guilty to embezzling $1M
WASHINGTON A former deputy director of a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) contractor and his wife have plead guilty to embezzling more than $1 million from a program to address global health problems like AIDS in order to fix their home and purchase luxury cars.
Mark Adams, 44, and Latasha Bell, 36, both of Fort Washington, Md., admit using the money to renovate their home and purchase two luxury cars.
The cars alone were worth over $110,000, according to a press release indictment from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia. They were indicted on 23 counts on April 10, 2012.
"With this indictment, we are alleging that a former director of a federal contracting company and his wife conspired to steal money that was intended to assist developing countries with serious public health problems," U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. said in a press release. "Instead of the funds being used to assist in the treatment of conditions such as HIV/AIDS, the money was allegedly used by Mr. Adams and Ms. Bell to pay for expensive home renovations and purchase luxury vehicles such as a Cadillac EXT and a Mercedes S550."
Both pleaded guilty Friday to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud. They agreed to make full restitution.
The two admitted that Adams used his position to submit and approve false invoices. The invoices bilked USAID's global health program. A co-conspirator pleaded guilty last March.
Under sentencing guidelines, Adams faces up to 51 to 63 months in prison. Bell agreed to serve home confinement.
Sentencing is in December.
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