Albuquerque, New Mexico - A former civilian employee of the United States Air Force (USAF) pleaded guilty Tuesday for making false statements in connection with a federal investigation into the employee’s theft of government funds.
Gregory Burris, 48, of Miesau, Germany, pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements before U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen B. Molzen of the District of New Mexico. A sentencing date has not been set.
According to documents filed with the court and admissions made in connection with Burris’s plea, between approximately 2013 and 2016, Burris was employed by the USAF as a Resource Advisor and was assigned to a multinational electronic warfare training facility (Polygone) near Ramstein Air Base in Germany. In this position, Burris was responsible for, among other duties, generating and transmitting invoices and payment instructions to foreign militaries for their use of Polygone’s facilities.
Between early 2015 and early 2016, Burris generated and transmitted six invoices to foreign militaries for money owed to the U.S. government for expenses related to Polygone-sponsored training exercises. Burris directed these militaries to transmit payment of the invoices to Burris’s personal checking account at a German bank, held jointly with his wife, rather than the authorized Department of Defense (DOD) bank account. As a result of Burris’s instructions, foreign militaries unwittingly deposited approximately $144,953.41 into Burris’s personal bank account.
Federal investigators in Albuquerque, New Mexico, interviewed Burris on Aug. 29, 2018. During the interview, he falsely stated that after receiving the deposits from the foreign militaries in his personal bank account, he wire-transferred the funds from his personal bank account to the authorized DOD bank account by requesting and authorizing each transfer in person at his local bank branch in Germany. In fact, Burris used the entirety of these funds to pay for personal expenses.
The Air Force Office of Special Investigations and the Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General investigated this case. Trial Attorney Erica O’Brien Waymack of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section is prosecuting the case.