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Fraudster EPA official spent $40K on luxurious London trips

The former Environmental Protection Agency official who pretended to be a CIA spy and bilked the agency out of hundreds of thousands of dollars spent more than $40,000 on two taxpayer-funded trips to London that included first-class airfare and five-star hotels, documents obtained by the Free Beacon reveal.

Travel expense reports reviewed by the Free Beacon show former EPA official John Beale took two taxpayer-funded trips to London in 2008 and 2009, staying in a beachfront hotel in Santa Monica, Calif. and a hotel along the River Thames in London.

Beale, 64, pled guilty in September to charges of felony theft of government property, which carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.

Investigators say Beale claimed for years to be a CIA spy and that he often justified his long absences from work by saying he was overseas.

Beale is scheduled to be sentenced in December. Because of his clean record and guilty plea, his probable prison sentence will be 30 to 37 months. The court also ordered him to pay restitution of $886,186 to the EPA and civil forfeitures of $507,207.

The EPA Office of the Inspector General told the Free Beacon it is currently conducting an audit of the agency’s internal practices following the case, and it expects to release the report in mid-December.

Beale took his first taxpayer-funded trip to London in 2008, spending $22,356.12.

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