Former Kennedy Staffer Indicted for Allegedly Hiding Pay Increases

Posted December 15, 2009 at 5:41pm

The Justice Department on Tuesday indicted a former aide to the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) on allegations that he attempted to steal more than $75,000 via unauthorized salary payments over a four-year period.Former office manager Ngozi Pole is charged with five counts of wire fraud and one count of theft of government property for allegedly issuing himself unauthorized bonus payments and salary increases between 2003 and 2007.According to the indictment issued in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Pole, who was responsible for submitting salary increases and twice-yearly bonuses to the Senate Disbursing Office, routinely increased his own payments but hid the increases by reporting smaller amounts to the office’s then-chief of staff.“Defendant Pole provided the Chief of Staff with a false accounting of bonuses he and other employees had received, which concealed the true amounts Pole had received,— the indictment states.The indictment details multiple incidents in 2004 during which Pole allegedly authorized temporary salary increases for himself, including doubling his annual rate of pay from $75,000 to $150,000 on two occasions, resulting in an additional $9,500 in salary payments.Federal prosecutors cited violations of wire fraud because he directed the Senate Disbursing Office to instruct the Federal Reserve Bank to deposit the improper payments to his Senate Federal Credit Union account.According to the Justice Department, each count of wire fraud could result in a maximum prison term of 20 years and a $250,000 fine. The charge of theft carries a maximum prison term of 10 years and a $250,000 fine.Congressional pay records maintained by Legistorm.com indicate Pole left Kennedy’s office in January 2007 and served as deputy chief of staff to Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) until May 2007.Pole also campaigned for a seat on the Senate Federal Credit Union Board in 2003.