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Crime Subcontractor at atomic lab in West Mifflin imprisoned for $250K theft scheme

05:02  29 may  2020
05:02  29 may  2020 Source:   post-gazette.com

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A former Department of Energy subcontractor who stole $250,000 in taxpayer money will spend 18 months in federal prison for it.

a close up of a tool © Provided by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

U.S. District Judge William Stickman on Wednesday imposed that term on Robert Lazur, 31, of West Mifflin, and ordered him to pay full restitution.

Lazur worked as a logistics coordinator for BWXT Technical Services Group, a subcontractor at the Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory in West Mifflin, and pleaded guilty last year to theft of government funds.

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He was working on a project funded by DOE and used company credit cards and open purchase orders to make hundreds of purchases for himself.

He sold some items on eBay, kept others and gave some to his friends.

His lawyers argued that he stole the money so he could better care for his fiancee and a baby. They also argued that Lazur was at an emotional low point in dealing with the breakup of his parents, an alcohol problem and spending sprees at casinos.

They described his thefts as a "misguided" attempt at self-medication and asked the judge for probation.

Federal prosecutors asked for prison, saying Lazur systematically stole hundreds of times over two years from January 2016 to December 2017.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee Karl said he stopped only because he got caught.

Mr. Karl also said that Lazur was supposed to sell the guns he bought with the stolen money so he could use the funds to pay towards restitution, but he didn't do that and didn't respond to calls by the government.

Mr. Karl asked the judge to give Lazur a "significant" prison term.

In addition to the 18 months, Lazur will be on probation for three years.

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