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Ex-senior NASA employee sentenced for pandemic fraud

Why is NASA sending astronauts back to space?
Posted at 1:32 PM, Jul 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-16 13:32:13-04

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- A former senior NASA employee who cheated the government out of nearly $275,000 in pandemic-related financial assistance has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.

The sentence imposed Thursday on 36-year-old Andrew Tezna of Leesburg, Virginia, was roughly in line with the 21-month sentence sought by federal prosecutors in Alexandria.

Tezna’s lawyer had sought home detention. Tezna pleaded guilty to fraud after submitting bogus applications under the government’s Paycheck Protection Program.

During the fraud, Tezna was making more than $180,000 annually working in NASA’s financial offices.

He used the money to pay off a swimming pool and a Disney timeshare, among other items. He also paid more than $6,000 for a French bulldog.