A former federal official, who has pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $900,000 by impersonating a CIA officer, refused to testify before a House committee Tuesday.
John Beale, who admitted last week to stealing salary, bonuses and other payments from the Environmental Protection Agency for more than a decade while he pretended to work for the CIA, sought protections under the Fifth Amendment and refused to answer questions from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
“Mr. Beale’s betrayal of the public trust for his own personal enrichment is truly shocking in the scope, duration and sheer audacity,” Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), the top Democrat on the panel said. “It is amazing.”
Beale’s story, described by Cummings as “playing James Bond,” indeed seemed suited to a Hollywood blockbuster.
While at the EPA, Beale claimed that he was secretly working for the CIA on the side, allowing him to miss days from work, take extravagant trips and stay in posh hotels across the world.