Jeffrey Neely, a General Services Administration regional commissioner who organized an extravagant Las Vegas employee conference, was indicted on fraud charges Thursday by a federal grand jury in San Francisco.
Neely orchestrated an $823,000 conference for government workers in 2010 that included custom blackjack dealer vests, commemorative coins, and a Sushi tab that ran thousands of dollars, according to the agency's inspector general. He clung to his job until 2012, and refused to testify before Congress, pleading his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
The GSA inspector general referred the case to the Justice Department in 2012.
In addition to the Las Vegas extravaganza, federal authorities charged Neely with submitting fraudulent travel and personal expenses for trips to three other locations. When federal investigators questioned Neely about the expenses, he lied and said they were for business purposes, according to a statement by the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Charges include three counts of making false claims and two counts of making false statements. If convicted, Neely faces a maximum of up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each violation. He is set to appear in federal court in San Francisco on Oct. 20.