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Former DEA Official Sentenced for Wire Fraud


On October 28, 2020, a former DEA Public Affairs Official was sentenced to 84 months of imprisonment, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $4,481,876 in restitution for one count of wire fraud.  Garrison Courtney was sentenced in the Eastern District of Virginia. According to the factual statement in support of the guilty plea, from in or about 2012 through in or about 2016, Courtney engaged in a fraud scheme that involved posing as an undercover CIA operative in order to defraud government contractors.  Courtney approached numerous private companies and claimed that the companies needed to hire and pay him to create what Courtney described as “commercial cover,” i.e., to mask his supposed affiliation with the CIA.  Courtney also fraudulently claimed that the companies would be reimbursed in the future for these salary payments, sometimes by the award of contracts from the United States government. The investigation was conducted by the OIG’s Washington Field Office; with forensic assistance provided by the OIG’s Cyber Investigations Office, the FBI, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, and other federal law enforcement agencies.

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