The former acting director of intelligence for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement pleaded guilty Tuesday to embezzling more than $180,000 using bogus travel vouchers and timesheet claims.
James M. Woosley, 48, and four subordinates -- including Woosley's girlfriend -- have admitted to making up expenses for trips and hotel stays that were never taken, costing taxpayers more than $600,000 over three years.
"[Woosley] abused his sensitive position of trust to fleece the government by submitting phony paperwork for and taking kickbacks from subordinates who were also on the take," said Ronald Machen Jr., U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.
The investigation is ongoing, Machen said.
Woosley faces a likely sentence of a 18 to 27 months at his sentencing, scheduled for July 13.
Woosley's live-in girlfriend and assistant, Lateisha M. Rollerson, 38, of Bowie, pleaded guilty to similar charges in March.
Woosley first met Rollerson in 2007, and "developed a close, personal relationship," before getting her a job at ICE headquarters, according to charging documents.
The scheme started in 2008, when Rollerson figured out how to game the travel voucher system for a senior intelligence analyst, Stephen E. Henderson, 61.
Woosley learned of the scheme while the trio was drinking at restaurant, and Rollerson and Henderson started laughing about the fraudulent vouchers. When Woosley asked what they were laughing about, Rollerson told him he didn't want to know, papers said.
Rollerson eventually told Woosley about the scheme and he approved the payments, documents said.
The trio decided to buy a boat, paid in part from the bogus travel advances.
Rollerson often accompanied Woosley on official trips, although she often had no legitimate purpose, documents said. Rollerson then billed the government for those trips.
In 2009, Woosley was named acting director of the intelligence office, and Rollerson became her personal assistant. He bought a house in Stafford. They lived together in Virginia, and she paid both of their personal bills using money from the scheme, charging documents said.
ICE employees who traveled to D.C. on business stayed at the house, and Rollerson created fraudulent receipts from area hotels. The employees kept about half the money and kicked back the rest to Woosley, prosecutors said.
ICE employees Ahmed Adil Abdallat, 64, William Korn, 53, and Henderson have pleaded guilty in the scheme.