Civilian employee accused of using position with DOD to scheme the government

Posted at 10:42 PM, May 24, 2017

FORT EUSTIS, Va. - A 60-year-old Gloucester man is accused of using his position at the DOD to scheme the government.

John Berry has been charged with conspiracy to commit mail or wire fraud.

News 3 tried to speak to him about the charges, but a man who answered the door to his home did not want to speak.

According to the criminal information federal investigators said there was an alleged scheme going on for a four year period that apparently involved Berry, his boss and possibly others.

The scheme centered on the website-GSA advantage, which is a site that sells items to government entities at a cheaper price.

Federal authorities allege that items were ordered and sent to Fort Eustis but were keep for personal use or sold on EBay by Berry, his supervisor and possibly others.

“The defendant in this case and others had used a scheme to rip off the government for lack of better words,” said News 3 Legal Analyst George Neskis, a partner at the Decker Law Firm has been practicing law in Hampton Roads for 36 years.

He said, “This town is not different than any other but obviously with the number of military personnel here most people are going to be upset with employees of the government ripping off the government.”

Records state "R.F. supervised Berry and obtained goods for him from the GSA Advantage website. From in or about August 19, 2010 to in or about May 20, 2014, Berry had various items valued at over $500 shipped to him for personal use. Each of these items were obtained through a fraudulent use of R.F’s GSA Advantage account.”

Documents only identify the supervisor also involved as R.F. and don't list any other potential suspects who were part of the alleged conspiracy.

The documents stated R.F. was a civilian employee and that purchases were billed to the DOD.

“It looks like there are others that are potentially involved and that the government may investigate,” said Neskis.

Berry was a civilian employee at the Aviation and Missile Command Fleet Management Office at Fort Eustis.

News 3 reached out to government officials to ask about the case and the status of the employees but Wednesday night we did not hear back.

Federal court officials said Berry has a plea agreement hearing scheduled for June 20.