Former Norfolk government employee sentenced to 4 years in prison for defrauding DoD

NORFOLK, Va. – Michelle Holt, a former government employee, was sentenced Wednesday morning in Norfolk to four years in prison for defrauding the Department of Defense.

According to court documents, Holt will also be given three years of supervised probation and have to pay a restitution of $1.4 million.

Holt pleaded guilty to the charges against her back in December 2018.

Court documents say 52-year-old Michelle M. Holt was previously employed as a federal employee for the Department of Defense, working as a secretary for the U.S. Air Force at Joint Base Langley-Eustis. She was a salaried employee on the General Schedule (GS) grade for the federal civilian workforce and was entitled to overtime pay, other forms of holiday and annual leave and premium pay for any federal holidays worked if authorized by her employer.

A law enforcement investigation determined that from December 2001 to July 2018, Holt falsely claimed more than 42,000 hours in unauthorized overtime that she did not work, as well as other amounts of unauthorized holiday leave, sick leave and annual leave, all amounting to losses to the U.S. of $1,460,262.43.

In recent years, Holt’s overtime pay was more than double that of her regular salary. Records say she accomplished the fraud by making manual retroactive adjustments to protected computer time and attendance systems to add overtime, reverse leave taken and reverse holiday leave. In doing so, she used another employee’s log-in information without that employee’s knowledge or authorization.

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