Air Force scam costs government $300K

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Air Force scam costs government $300K
PITTSBURGH, PA - Maintenance personnel with the 171st Air Refueling Wing launch and recover KC-135 aircraft involved in an Employer Flight sponsored by the unit on May 21. Staff Sgt. Krystl Larkin, 171st crew chief, marshals the aircraft into its parking space upon its return. Forty-two employers of unit members were treated to an informative briefing by Brig. Gen. Roy Uptegraff, the wing's commander, and then they witnessed an aerial refueling mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Ann Young)

An Air Force scam cost the government $300,000 and involved a colonel who worked with a civilian. The scheme focused on Robert St. Clair pretending to work for the 171st Air Refueling Wing while he never actually showed up for the job. His friend helped set up the entire scam that cost the government thousands.

The Air Force is once again the focus of another negative story after breaking news of Robert St. Clair’s indictment, according to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Robert St. Clair is pleading guilty to the charges he faces, and the investigation is actually not over. Prosecutors have indicated others are involved who may also face court time.

The scheme involved Robert St. Clair and Air Force Col. Gerard Mangis who were friends and decided to help each other out in an illegal way. Robert St. Clair worked for the National Guard Bureau while Col. Gerard Mangis worked for the 171st Air Refueling Wing. St. Clair was on the verge of losing his job after suffering financial issues and bankruptcy problems, but Mangis found a way to help him.

Col. Gerard Mangis decided that he would add St. Clair to the 171st Air Refueling Wing by giving him a fake job, and St. Clair would receive payment without ever having to show up. On the other hand, Robert St. Clair gave Mangis extra pay for his job and paid him for days he did not even work. The scam cost the government thousands and involved the manipulation of a great deal of paperwork.

Neither Robert St. Clair nor Col. Gerard Mangis are working for the Air Force anymore. However, there may be other people involved in the scandal, so investigators are looking into all possibilities. The two men spent years receiving extra pay for their special and illegal arrangement before it was discovered. The issue only became apparent after an audit showed the colonel was getting payments for duties that were occurring at the same time. This impossible situation made it clear some manipulation was happening behind the scenes.

The investigation has already taken months, but prosecutors are not backing down. They think others may have known about the scam or had a part in it. They are trying to uncover all involved parties, so everyone can be charged and face justice. This scheme hurt the military and government by creating a mess for investigators to unravel.

 

 

 

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