Prattville man sentenced for defrauding the U.S. Air Force for h - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

Prattville man sentenced for defrauding the U.S. Air Force for hotel rewards points

Source: MGN Online Source: MGN Online

James Robert Whitaker, 60, was sentenced Friday to 5 years' probation, $5,000 fine; and $90,356 restitution, announced George L. Beck, Jr., United States Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama.

Whitaker was a retired Air Force Officer and a civil service employee from Prattville.

Whitaker pleaded guilty in October 2012 to one count of participating in an act which affected a personal financial interest. Whitaker, while working at the Air Force Legal Operating Agency, directed Air Force JAG officers to stay at local hotels at a higher monetary rate, when housing was available on Maxwell Air Force Base at a much lower rate.

 As a result, Whitaker received a total of 587,282 Marriott reward points. Whitaker also received an additional 100,000 reward points for other room arrangements. The U.S. Air Force suffered a loss of $90,356.

According to U.S. Attorney Beck, "The law is in place to ensure proper handling of government funds and prevent government employees from making transactions based on benefitting themselves instead of the government.  My office will prosecute those who use their position with the government to profit illegally."

This case was investigated by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Don Valeska.

INFORMATION SOURCE: U.S. Attorney's Office

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