NASA Facility Chief Found Guilty of Receiving Illegal Gratuities

A NASA official was found guilty of illegally receiving gratuities in his official capacity as a federal employee.

An official at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was found guilty of receiving gratuities in exchange for official acts performed in his capacity as a government official and to stealing funds from a government contract according to a recent announcement from the Justice Department.

Court documents showed that Steven Eric Kremer, 53, of Snow Hill, VA was the Chief of the Range and Mission Management Office at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility (WFF). In that position, Kremer was responsible for administering the Range Operations Contract (ROC) – a multi-year government contract intended to provide services at test facilities and launch control centers.

For a one-week period during each of the summers between 2008 and 2015, Kremer was provided the free use of a vacation home located on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, owned by an employee of a ROC subcontractor. In exchange, Kremer facilitated the selection of the subcontractor’s firm to supply interior design services and office furniture for WFF. Kremer also utilized ROC funds to purchase gift cards for his personal use, and to obtain a piece of personalized art.

Kremer pleaded guilty to receipt of gratuities by a public official and theft of government funds, and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison when sentenced on March 27, 2019. The DOJ noted, however, that actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

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