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Posted at 7:57 AM ET, 11/30/2010

15 months for $1M theft from Archives

By Maria Glod

A former National Archives employee was sentenced to 15 months in prison for his role in a scheme to steal nearly $1 million from the archives, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Maryland.

James Clay Whitson, 45, of Nottingham, Md., who had been a property management specialist for an Archives facility in College Park, was involved in a scam with another man who had a contract to provide facility management services, authorities said.

Whitson, who had a government purchase card, paid his partner for services that were never received or paid inflated prices. The two split the proceeds.

For instance, court records filed in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt show, Whitson paid his partner, Robert Caleb McCray, $50,000 to clean fabric panels. In fact, McCray paid an outside company about $1,627 to do the work.

Another time, Whitson arranger for the Archives to pay one of McCray's companies $14,599 to construct furniture. The workers got only about $900.

Federal authorities said the total loss to the Archives was about $958,280. McCray, 44, of Silver Spring, has pleaded guilty in connection with his role in the scheme. He was sentenced to 15 months in prison.

By Maria Glod  | November 30, 2010; 7:57 AM ET
Categories:  Cons & Scams, From the Courthouse, Maria Glod  
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Sentencing guidelines are obviously distorted here; and no mention was made as to whether any restitution was to be made. How many of us could pull in a million dollars in just 15 months? I think defendents should be sentenced to the number of years it would take them to earn (at their present salary) all the money they stole. Someone who makes $50k a year would have to serve 20 years to compensate the public for their million dollar crime.

Posted by: kbwalker1 | November 30, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Is that supposed to be a deterrent? Did they "Claw ack" any of the $$$ this guy stole? Did his accomplice get any time?

Posted by: jellybean5 | November 30, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

I'm with the previous posters that there is something missing here. The restitution issue should have been adddressed, even if there were none.

While prison is no picnic, I'd bet an awful lot of people (myself perhaps included) would willingly serve 15 months for a million dollars. The catch is that you'd have to steal, which I would not.

Posted by: cpnich | November 30, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

How did they do it so cheap? That's a bargain compared to Halliburton prices and rates.

I guess they didn't know Dick Chaney or George Bush.

Posted by: Special_One40 | November 30, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Jellybeans - see the final paragraph of the article. McCray, the accomplice, pleaded guilty & also received 15 months in prison.

It's quite possible that the issue of restitution WAS addressed in these cases, but that it just wasn't reported.

Hey WaPo - there are a couple of glaring grammatical typos. Could you please fix? In paragraph 4, there should NOT be a comma after the word show. And in paragraph 5, the word should be arranged, not arranger. Thanks. Is it so difficult to send the article to editing or proofreading prior to posting?

Posted by: PorthosAD | November 30, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

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