THE OWNER of an executive limousine company in Washington DC has pleaded guilty to issuing fraudulent transport invoices for a government exchange programme.
The court was told that Denon Hopkins (49) had admitted to embezzlement of a little-known State Department initiative that brought young foreigners to America to play sports.
Mr Hopkins pleaded guilty at a federal district court in Alexandria to conspiring with a program specialist at the State Department to submit false invoices and steal money from the Sports Visitor Programme.
The initiative, run by George Mason University, brings coaches and athletes to the United States for a fortnight of training sessions, educational classes and tours.
The exchange programme costs between $1.1 million and $1.4 million each year and Hopkins, who provided, “legitimate transportaion services,” also submitted false and inflated invoices.
State Department prosecutor Edward Sullivan told the court that a government employee conspired with the limousine boss to stage fake events and submit fraudulent bills for $17,000 between March 2015 to March 2016.
Hopkins faces a five year prison sentence as part of a plea deal with law enforcement agencies.