Ex-BLM employee admits using government credit card to defraud agency, buy pottery
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: May 4, 2020

MISSOULA – A former Bureau of Land Management employee today admitted he used government credit cards to steal from the agency, including buying pottery for his personal use, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.

Adrian Anthony Aragon, 49, of Butte, pleaded guilty to wire fraud. Aragon faces a maximum 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and up to three years of supervised release.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen L. DeSoto presided. The Court detained Aragon and set sentencing for Aug. 14.

The prosecution said in court records filed in the case that Aragon worked as an administrative assistant for the BLM and had been issued government travel and purchase cards to be used only for official business. An investigation found that in 10 months, Aragon attempted to obtain about $20,901 by improperly using his government cards. On July 28, 2019, Aragon used his card to spend $2,500 to buy pottery for his personal use. To cover the fraudulent purchase, Aragon doctored the account statement to omit the transaction and then submitted the statement.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Weldon prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Bureau of Land Management, Office of Law Enforcement and Security.