Adrian Anthony Aragon, a former Bureau of Land Management (BLM) employee, has pleaded guilty to theft of government property and aggravated identity theft, according to U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich.

Guilty Plea and Potential Penalties

Aragon, aged 52 and from Butte, admitted to the charges, which carry significant penalties.

He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release for the theft crime.

Additionally, he faces a minimum of two years in prison, consecutive to any other sentence, a $250,000 fine, and one year of supervised release for aggravated identity theft.

Read Next: Find Out Just How Vulnerable Montana Is To Identity Theft?

Allegations and Investigation

Court documents revealed that Aragon was employed by the BLM from 2019 to 2020.

In early 2022, a BLM employee, identified as Jane Doe, reported unauthorized checks totaling $10,700 written on a government bank account in her name.

These checks were deposited into Wells Fargo accounts solely under Aragon’s name, with the funds used for personal expenses such as cash withdrawals, utility bills, restaurant visits, grocery purchases, and Amazon transactions.

Jane Doe informed law enforcement that Aragon had access to her checks during his employment.

Additionally, she stated that Aragon manipulated schedules, often being the first or last person in the office.

Prosecution and Investigation

Assistant U.S. Attorney Karla E. Painter is prosecuting the case, while the Department of Interior Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation.

As the legal proceedings continue, the consequences for Aragon will be determined by the court, reflecting the gravity of his actions and serving as a reminder of the repercussions of such crimes within federal agencies.

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