Now That's a Perk!

SEATTLE (AP) -- Federal prosecutors say a U.S. government worker from Southern California took some illegal perks from his job -- including a plane, yachts and heavy-duty trucks.

According to charging papers unsealed in federal court in Tacoma on Thursday, Stephen Bradley Smith, an employee with the Federal Aviation Administration, abused an internal computer system to claim surplus items from other government agencies.
One of the most recent items was a 44-foot Navy sailing yacht that had been used by the Reserve Officer Training Corps at the University of Washington. Investigators say Smith turned the vessel over to his half brother, Bradley Garner, who took it to Canada.

The system is designed to allow federal agencies to claim items other agencies no longer use, free of charge. Smith, a San Diego-based FAA employee, allegedly claimed more than 200 items for himself.
Smith and Garner are both charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and theft of honest services. Smith makes his initial appearance in federal court in Santa Ana, Calif., Thursday, while Garner was scheduled for a detention hearing Friday.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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