U.S. Department of Justice
RONALD C. MACHEN JR.
United States Attorney for the
District of Columbia
555 Fourth Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20530
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, Jeptember 23, 2010
|For Information Contact:
Former Williams College Professor and Policy Advisor Sentenced to 50 Months in Prison for Multiple Fraud Schemes
WASHINGTON - Ernest Bernard Moore, formerly an assistant professor at Williams College, visiting researcher at Yale Law School, and senior policy fellow for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, was sentenced today to 50 months in jail following his guilty plea to one count each of student aid fraud, bank fraud, and Social Security representative fraud, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
The sentencing follows an investigation by the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Education (“DOED”); the Washington Field Office of the U.S. Secret Service (“USSS”); the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration (“SSA”); Philadelphia Field Division, Office of Investigations, Office of the Inspector General (“OIG”), and U.S. Capitol Police.
Moore, 52, of Washington, D.C. and Williamstown, Mass., entered his guilty plea in November 2009 in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia before the Honorable Ricardo M. Urbina.
According to the factual proffer agreed to by Moore, the defendant enrolled in 1985 at the University of Southern California under the name Ernest Bouvier-Moore, an alias. Using this false name and a Social Security number that was assigned to an associate of Moore, referred to as “KM,” Moore applied for and received approximately $8,000 in federal student loan funds from the U.S. Department of Education. However, Moore defaulted on those loans and, to date, he has never repaid any part of those funds as he was required to do by the terms of the promissory note for that loan.
In 1993, Moore created a new identity for himself by obtaining a California driver’s license and a new Social Security number in the name of “Bernard Glenn-Moore.” In 2002, Moore used this false name and Social Security number to apply successfully for admission to Claremont Graduate University (“CGU”) in California to pursue a Master’s degree in Public Policy. Also using this false name and Social Security number, Moore applied for and received federal student aid in four disbursements totaling $37,000 for the 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 school years. In addition, Moore used this alias to apply for and receive four private student loans from Chase Bank USA, N.A. and Citibank USA, N.A. (“Citibank”) totaling $79,777 in the same years. During the same time period, Moore also used the alias “Bernard Moore” and the same false Social Security number to open with the Stanford Federal Credit Union two Echecking Accounts and a Student Savings Account and to apply for and receive two loans totaling $7,000. In applying for admission to CGU, Moore falsely stated, among other things, that he had received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1970 from the University of Puget Sound under the name KM (when, in fact, Moore’s associate KM had earned that degree and Moore has never received any undergraduate degree) and that “Tracy Cannady” was a reference (when, in fact, that was another alias of Moore’s). In his applications for federal student aid, Moore falsely stated, among other things, that he had children he supported and that he had not previously defaulted on any federal student loan. In August 2004, Moore graduated from CGU, under his alias, with a Master of Arts degree in Politics.
Thereafter, again using the false name Bernard Glenn-Moore and the Social Security number he had obtained in that name, Moore was accepted into a graduate program at Howard University to pursue a Ph.D. in Political Science, and he enrolled there in the Fall of 2004. Again using this false name and Social Security number, Moore applied for and received federal student aid in seven disbursements totaling $51,351 for the 2004-2005, 2005-2006, and 2006- 2007 school years. As before, in his applications for federal student aid, Moore falsely stated, among other things, that he had an undergraduate degree, had children he supported, and had not previously defaulted on any federal student loan. Using the alias Bernard Moore and the associated Social Security number, Moore also applied for and received a student loan from Citibank in 2008 totaling $9,000. In May 2009, Moore graduated from Howard University, under his alias, with a Ph.D. in Political Science.
In 1994, Moore had created another new identity for himself by obtaining a California identification card and a new Social Security number in the name “Tracy Glenn Cannady.” In the summer of 2005, Moore used this false identity to apply successfully for enrollment at George Washington University (“GWU”) as a non-degree student. Using the same alias, Moore also applied for and received six private student loans from Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase Bank totaling $109,000 in 2006 and 2007. Moore completed no credit hours at GWU under any name.
Also in 2005, while attending Howard University, Moore began working for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, first as a congressional fellow and later as a legislative assistant and senior policy fellow. For purposes of his employment with Congress, Moore used his alias Bernard Glenn-Moore and the Social Security number he had obtained in that name. In September 2005, Moore used this false identity to open a checking account with the Wright Patman Congressional Federal Credit Union (“WPCFCU”). Also in September 2005, Moore used a different alias, Tracy Cannady, and the Social Security number he had obtained in that name to open another checking account with WPCFCU. Moore falsely stated on the application for Cannady’s account that Bernard Glenn-Moore was Cannady’s “spouse” and sponsor. Using the alias Tracy Cannady, Moore also applied for and received two loans related to Tracy Cannady’s account at WPCFCU in 2005 and 2006 totaling $4,600.
From 2003 to 2009, Moore opened more than 90 credit card accounts using the aliases Tracy Cannady or Bernard Moore and the Social Security numbers he had obtained in those names. Total purchases made were at least $502,992.97, and the outstanding balances total approximately $469,099.52.
On October 23, 2001, “WB,” an associate of Moore’s, initially applied for Social Security Administration (“SSA”) Disability benefits at the SSA District Office in Inglewood, California. On the same date, Moore, using the name Bernard Glenn Moore and the associated Social Security number, requested to become the Representative Payee for WB and was selected as WB’s Representative Payee. Both WB and Moore were living in California at this time. In June 2002, WB moved from California to Virginia, and in approximately September 2002, WB began working again, although he needed a lot of time off in 2003 and 2004. A couple of months after WB returned to work, Moore informed WB that his benefits would terminate in December 2002 due to his working. Unbeknownst to WB, Moore failed to notify SSA promptly that WB had returned to work and that WB was no longer in Moore’s care and custody. In fact, Moore continued to receive benefits checks on WB’s behalf, but did not forward them to WB after December 2002. SSA determined that during the period January 2003 through September 2004, Moore received $13,257 in benefits on WB’s behalf, but WB received no benefit from these payments.
As part of today’s sentencing, Moore was ordered to pay a total of $759,593.86 in restitution to numerous victims.
In announcing the sentencing, U.S. Attorney Machen praised the hard work of DOED OIG Special Agent Carrie Jackson, USSS Special Agents Eric A. Traceski and Kevin Rydalch, SSA OIG Special Agent Adrienne C. Messer, SSA District Office Claims Representative Judy Bura, and U.S. Capitol Police Special Agent Dennis Holland. Finally, they commended Assistant U.S. Attorney Laurel Loomis Rimon (formerly of D.C., now of the Eastern District of California) who initiated the investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Ellen Chubin Epstein, who prosecuted this matter.