Yorktown veteran pleads guilty to theft of government property

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NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A retired Soldier from Yorktown pleaded guilty to receiving and selling goods for his own local business in Newport News from August 2010 through mid-2015.

According to officials, Francis “Edward” Roach, who served in the U.S. Army from 1982 to 2006, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to theft of government property, goods originally ordered by a military member from Fort Eustis with federal government money.

The 55-year-old owned and operated A&E Automotive Repair of Denbigh, Inc. when he committed the crimes.

Roy E. Friend, who worked as the Chief of Logistics and Program Management, Aviation and Missile Command at Fort Eustis, made over 600 orders and fraudulently obtained approximately $2.3 million worth of goods through the General Services Administration (GSA) Advantage website using his GSA Advantage account.

Roach received stolen property that was portion of an over $800,000 fraud committed by civilian employees.

Items purchased by Friend included boxes of tools and other equipment taken to A & E Automotive, where they were resold by him for private financial gain. Roach also sold items to individuals at discounted prices providing false explanations as to how he obtained the equipment.

Friend pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 33 months in prison for his role in the scheme, along with another former Department of Defense employee.

Roach faces a maximum penalty of ten years in prison when he is sentenced on October 18.

Officials say that actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.

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