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John Beale 30 months: Feds say EPA expert's fraud was of 'massive proportions'

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John Beale, a top EPA climate expert who pretended to work as an undercover agent for the CIA for years, could get 30 months in prison for what authorities are calling a "crime of massive proportion," according to a Dec. 16 report from NBC News.

John Beale, 65, will appear before a federal court in Washington on Wednesday for sentencing. Prosecutors are requesting that Beale be sent to federal prison for at least 30 months for scamming the government out of almost $1 million in salary and other benefits for more than a decade.

Beale recently admitted to defrauding the government by citing a fictional CIA mission just so he didn't have to show up for work for months at a time.

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Incredibly, the crime went unnoticed because no one took the time to verify his claim. Daily Mail reports that Beale claimed he was doing undercover work at the CIA headquarters but really he was relaxing at his home or sometimes he took a trip to his vacation home in Cape Cod, prosecutors say.

“With the help of his therapist,” wrote attorney John Kern, “Mr. Beale has come to recognize that, beyond the motive of greed, his theft and deception were animated by a highly self-destructive and dysfunctional need to engage in excessively reckless, risky behavior.” Kern also said Beale was driven “to manipulate those around him through the fabrication of grandiose narratives … that are fueled by his insecurities.”

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Bale may receive more than 30 months in prison if found guilty. Although Beale pleaded guilty, his attorneys insist that his actions are the result of psychological problems.

Do you think that Beale should receive 30 months in prison for the epic fraud? Share your opinion in the comments section below.

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