Here’s an unexpected case in an age when so many people are either unemployed or underemployed: The government is prosecuting someone for holding down two full-time jobs—while on leave from a third job.
Jeffrey Armstrong has been charged with fraud after his one employer, the United Nations, found out that he had been doing similar work 300 miles away for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
According to federal prosecutors, Armstrong took a leave of absence from his supervisory security specialist position with the U.S. Army in March 2008 to become the assistant chief of security and safety for the United Nations in New York. The U.N. paid him $160,000 to be in charge of all security at U.N. headquarters in Manhattan.
But Armstrong was ambitious, so in 2009 he applied for the job of chief of security for the NLRB in Washington. During the interview process, he somehow persuaded NLRB officials not to contact his supervisor at the U.N. He was hired, and began earning a salary of $121,000 per year.
But he never resigned from the U.N. Rather than take a cut in pay, Armstrong simply kept both jobs. Neither employer knew Armstrong was working for the other.
In all, Armstrong collected $100,000 in salary from the two entities between April 2009, when he started working for the NLRB, and September of that year when the NLRB eventually pieced together the deception.
In government work, that’s illegal, and the NLRB contacted the Justice Department. That led to an indictment charging Armstrong with nine counts of wire and mail fraud, since he used phones, email and the U.S. mail to stay one step ahead of his various bosses.
For all his efforts, Armstrong faces up to 20 years in prison and fines of $250,000 for each wire fraud conviction.