Md. woman sentenced in NSA overbilling scam

The third member of a Maryland family accused of cheating the National Security Agency out of more than $1.4 million was sentenced Thursday to 15 months in prison, federal authorities in Maryland said.

U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett also ordered Christina Turley Knott of Edgewater to serve one year of home detention and to pay $300,000 in restitution.

Knott’s father and brother, with whom she was in business, were sentenced last week in the scheme to defraud the NSA. According to prosecutors, the Upper Marlboro manufacturing company inflated the number of hours worked by employees on products for the NSA between 2003 and 2005.

Knott, who worked as the Bechdon Company’s bookkeeper, also embezzled approximately $4.5 million from the company from 2002 through 2005 and failed to report the money as federal income on her tax returns.

“After starting a business and successfully contracting with the government, they forgot that being honest in billing is equally important to providing a good product,” said special agent in charge Robert Craig of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, which worked with the Maryland U.S. Attorneys office, the IRS and the NSA’s inspector general on the case.

Knott’s father, William Turley of Annapolis, and her brother, Donald Turley of Owings, were both sentenced last week to 18 months in prison, followed by a year of home detention. William Turley must pay a $100,000 fine and the two men were ordered to pay nearly $250,000 in restitution.

Ann covers legal affairs in the District and Maryland for the Washington Post. Ann previously covered state government and politics in California, New Hampshire and Maryland. She joined the Post in 2005.

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