Incarcerated Bronze Star recipient now accused of deception, fraud and stealing from the Navy

Posted at 12:10 PM, Nov 10, 2017

NORFOLK, Va. - A Bronze Star recipient is accused of deception, fraud and stealing from the Navy, according to federal documents.

Clayton Pressley, 42, is currently serving over four years in federal prison for stealing the identities of his subordinates and then taking out $24,000 dollars in loans.

Clayton A. Pressley

We tried to speak to him about it before he was incarcerated in May of 2016.

Pressley was indicted for the charges on May 4. But now, new charges have come to light.

The once-decorated Senior Chief Petty Officer is now accused of an elaborate scheme involving three separate companies and other unnamed conspirators.

Court records indicate one of the conspirators is an officer in the Navy and worked at the Virginia Beach-based Navy unit and had the authority to make purchases for his unit through prime vendors.

“The allegations basically center around fraud,” said Bruce Sams, Pressley’s attorney, “By either charging for services that were not given or charging for supplies that were not received basically that the government paid for.”

Records state the groups would work together to steal money from the Navy totally more than $664,000.

It states, “Between May of 2014 through November 2014 Pressley and three conspirators and others known and unknown, took advantage of these procurements mechanisms for personal gain.”

It states the purpose was for the conspirators to “obtain government money for personal use.”

Sams said his client is sorry for what he has done.

“He went through a period of time where he certainly exercised very poor judgment, caved into some selfish interests at that time, but taking responsibility for that now,” said Sams, “He feels ashamed of what he's done.”

Sams said he believes there has been an increase in the prosecution of people stealing from the military.

“Unfortunately, there's been a lot of fraud perpetrated on the military,” said Sams.

He said his client is remorseful, looking to serve his time and get on with his life.

“At the time when you get involved with stuff you see it as easy money and certainly you cave into it and you pay in the end and he's paid a lot, lost a lot not only his reputation but his military retirement. His name,” said Clayton, “For me, it's good to see people at least try to own up to what they've done without putting the government through the expense of a trial.”

He said Pressley plans to cooperate with federal authorities and enter a guilty plea for the new charges.  Sams said there are others, some in higher positions of power who could also be facing charges.

He has court later this month.

We reached out to the Navy to inquire about Pressley's status with the Navy and are waiting to hear back.


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