Federal Eye: Energy Dept. Employee Runs Up Hefty Phone Bill

An Energy Department employee and ten family members rung up approximately $19,000 in service charges on government-issued cellphones between March 2006 and August 2008, according to recent court filings.

Alva Yelverton, 40, pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government property on May 27 in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. She resigned her position and agreed to pay restitution to the Energy Department.

Yelverton earned $77,973 per year as a program support specialist in the department’s Office of Policy and International Affairs, responsible for office moves and the distribution of keys and telephones. She was the office’s main point of contact with cellphone provider Sprint and submitted the office’s monthly cellphone bills to the Energy Department, including the charges from the ten phones she gave to family members.

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