NASA Scientist Pleads Guilty to Conflict of Interest Charge

By Maria Glod
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 29, 2009; 6:54 PM

A NASA scientist pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to a conflict of interest charge for directing government contracts to his wife's company, which develops science exhibits and educational tools.

Mark R. Schoeberl, 60, of Silver Spring, an atmospheric scientist, has worked at the Goddard Space Flight Center since the 1980s. He admitted to guiding work to his wife's company on several occasions, according to a plea agreement filed in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt.

Schoeberl's wife, Barbara, owns Animated Earth LLC, which develops and distributes "Earth Today," an exhibit that allows people to access data on rainfall, earthquakes and other events displayed on a rotating globe.

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