Woman pleads guilty to stealing $1.4M from US government

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MATHEWS COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — A woman has pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $1.5 million from the U.S. Government while working as a secretary at Joint Base Langley-Eustis.

Federal prosecutors charged 52-year-old Michelle Holt, of Mathews County, with the crime earlier this month, alleging that she altered her time card for her benefit from January 2002 until June 2018. 

Prosecutors say she started off slow, but over 16 years she added more than 42,000 hours of overtime that she never worked.

Holt had the co-worker’s password and not only altered the overtime, but also holiday pay and sick leave. 

In the past couple years she was making double her regular salary in overtime.

Prosecutors said she took $1.46 million from the Department of Defense over that 16-year period.

Holt told prosecutors she used the money to buy items for herself and her family and that “it was wrong” and said “she was in trouble.”

Air Force officials tell 10 On Your Side she began working as a civilian in September 1992 in Air Combat Command, Communication Support Squadron.  It lasted until this past August.

Holt pleaded guilty to computer fraud and theft of government property.  

She is currently out on a $25,000 bond.

Holt will be sentenced March 13.  She faces a maximum of 15 years in prison and will have to pay the money back.

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