Former DEA Employee Pleads Guilty to Credit Card Fraud Scheme

A former DEA employee admits guilt in a scheme to obtain fraudulent credit cards and then used them to withdraw more than $113,000 from ATMs.

It has been a rough few weeks for for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

First, DEA agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration reportedly had “sex parties” with prostitutes hired by drug cartels in Colombia, according to a report from the agency’s inspector general. Colombian police officers allegedly provided “protection for the DEA agents’ weapons and property during the parties.”

No doubt, a good time was had by all those attending the party. Some of the agents received suspensions from two to as much as ten days. No reports yet on how the drug cartels were repaid by the DEA for their hospitality. None of the agents were fired and some were reportedly promoted.

Now, a former DEA employee from Upper Marlboro, Maryland has recently pleaded guilty to defrauding the government out of more than $113,000. She used fraudulently issued government credit cards according to the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

According to her plea agreement, Ms. Banks was employed by the DEA as a program manager and responsible for the approval and issuance of government credit cards to agency employees. She admitted to submitting dozens of fake credit card applications to the JP Morgan company on behalf of fictional DEA employees. On at least one occasion, she used identifying information of a real DEA employee.

She obtained at least 32 fraudulent credit cards which she then used to withdraw more than $113,000 from machines in Maryland and Northern Virginia.

As part of her plea agreement, she has agreed to forfeit the money she received as a result of the scheme. She will reportedly be sentenced to less than three years in prison.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 29, 2015.

The DEA agents partying with the hospitality provided by drug cartels received suspensions of from two to as much as ten days and the woman who obtained fake credit cards is now a “former Drug Enforcement Administration employee”. Some in Congress are now seeking the removal of the agents involved in the parties in Colombia.

Perhaps what happens in Bogata, Colombia stays in Bogota but what happens in Maryland and Northern Virginia is a more serious issue.

About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources. Follow Ralph on Twitter: @RalphSmith47