FBI paralegal specialist sentenced to prison for stealing $250,000

FBI paralegal specialist sentenced to prison for stealing $250,000
Posted at 5:10 PM, Nov 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-05 20:10:04-05

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A former paralegal specialist for the San Diego division of the FBI was sentenced Monday to 24 months in prison for embezzling nearly $250,000 in government funds.

Lynn M. Morris, 56, who pleaded guilty in March to one count of embezzlement of government property, was also ordered by U.S. District Judge Larry Burns to pay $278,000 in restitution.

"Lynn Morris capitalized on her position at the FBI to line her own pockets with stolen government funds," said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department's Criminal Division. "This conviction demonstrates the Department of Justice's commitment to investigating and prosecuting government employees who abuse their authority. Individuals who violate the public trust will be held accountable."

Between July 2014 and November 2016, Morris embezzled $159,821 that belonged to the United States and converted the funds for her own personal use, according to documents submitted in connection with her plea.

The funds were in an account owned by the FBI San Diego Division's Asset Forfeiture Unit, where Morris was a paralegal specialist and the AFU's designated coordinator.

The court found that Morris also embezzled $92,010 from an additional AFU account and stole $26,351 from FBI evidence rooms.

Morris admitted that to convert government funds to her own use, she used her knowledge and position within the FBI to withdraw cash from the AFU's account undetected and deposited portions of the stolen proceeds into her personal checking account.