Criminal Justice News

Friday, July 31, 2015

Former EPA Agent Sentenced for Making a False Statement in Connection with Pyramid Scheme

BOSTON – A Waterford, Conn. woman was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Connecticut yesterday in connection with her role in a pyramid scheme.

Annette Campe, 50, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Alvin W. Thompson in the District of Connecticut to one year of probation, a fine of $500, and ordered to pay $7,500 in restitution.

Campe was an 18-year veteran Special Agent with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in New Haven, Conn.  In December 2009, Campe joined the “Gifting Tables,” which was a four-level pyramid scheme.  Each level was named according to the courses of a dinner, starting with the “Appetizer” and progressing through the “Soup and Salad,” “Entree,” and “Dessert” levels.  A new participant would join the scheme at the bottom “Appetizer” row by paying $5,000 in cash to the participant in the top “Dessert” level.  Participants then moved up the pyramid as additional women were recruited to join.  Ultimately, after eight new participants had joined and paid a $5,000 “gift” to the woman occupying the “Dessert” level at the top of the pyramid, the so-called “Dessert” then left that Gifting Table, keeping the amassed $40,000.  By October 2011, Campe had reached the “Dessert” level when she received about $2,500 in cash from an individual who had recently joined at the bottom level.

As an EPA Special Agent, Campe was required each year to complete a financial disclosure report to disclose any gifts she received that totaled more than $350 from any one source or any income greater than $200 earned during that calendar year.  Despite receiving a $2,500 in cash (which she repaid at a later date), Campe intentionally concealed from the EPA the fact that she had received cash from the Gifting Table when she filed her annual financial disclosure report in January 2012.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Christopher Gaffney, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of the Inspector General, made the announcement today.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dustin Chao of Ortiz’s Public Corruption Unit.

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