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Ex-GSA Official Who Arranged Lavish Vegas Conference Indicted

Image: Ex-GSA Official Who Arranged Lavish Vegas Conference Indicted
Jeff Neely, regional commissioner for the General Services Administration's Public Buildings Service Pacific Rim Region. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 26 Sep 2014 02:48 PM

Jeff Neely, the former General Services Administration (GSA) official best known for arranging a lavish Las Vegas employee conference, was indicted on fraud charges by a federal grand jury in San Francisco, according to a statement issued by United States Attorney Melinda Haag on Thursday.

Neely, who organized an extravagant $823,000 employee conference in 2010, was charged with three false claims counts and two counts of making false statements and using false documents. If convicted, the 59-year-old former GSA regional commissioner faces up to five years in prison, and a fine of $250,000 for each violation, said Haag.

He is scheduled to appear in federal court on October 20.

The indictment alleges Neely "fraudulently sought reimbursement for personal travel and expenses – incurred in Las Vegas, Nev.; Long Beach, Calif.; Guam; and Saipan – by submitting false and fraudulent claims" and that when questioned about those expenses "falsely represented that the costs were incurred for official government business."

Neely's involvement in orchestrating the elaborate four-day Las Vegas event that featured a mind-reader, an open-bar reception and thousand dollar sushi tab was detailed in an April 2, 2012 report from the GSA inspector general.

Neely was allowed to retire from the GSA in May 2012, with a $100,000 compensation package, The Washington Post reported.

A series of congressional hearings which were held in the wake of the Las Vegas scandal uncovered the GSA had a long record of abusing taxpayer funds and awarding generous bonuses to GSA officials, including a $9,000 bonus to Neely in 2011.

During an August 2012 House Transportation Committee hearing, Chairman John Mica disclosed that approximately 77 conferences and award ceremonies were under IG review, GSA once spent $20,000 for drum sticks, $35,000 for picture frames and also paid more than $104,000 to an outside consultant.

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Jeff Neely, the former General Services Administration (GSA) official best known for arranging a lavish Las Vegas employee conference, was indicted on fraud charges by federal grand jury in San Francisco, according to a statement issued by United States Attorney Melinda Haag on Thursday.
GSA, Vegas, conference
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2014-48-26
Friday, 26 Sep 2014 02:48 PM
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