Chicago – Attorney General Kwame Raoul today announced a Cook County man was arraigned after the Attorney General’s office alleged he fraudulently used a government-issued fuel credit card to purchase more than $10,500 in fuel for personal use.
Attorney General Raoul charged Victor Mazon, 52, of Chicago, Illinois, with two counts of theft, one a Class 2 felony punishable by three to seven years in prison and the other a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in jail; four counts of official misconduct, Class 3 felonies punishable by two to five years in prison; one count of wire fraud, a Class 3 felony punishable by two to five in prison; and one count of driving with a suspended license, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in jail. Mazon pleaded not guilty, and his next scheduled court date is Aug. 23, 2023.
“Public servants are entrusted with resources that allow them to better perform their work on behalf of the taxpayers they serve. It is unacceptable that some individuals would abuse those resources for their own benefit,” Raoul said. “I will continue to partner with agencies at all levels of government to hold individuals accountable who exploit government funds and abuse the public’s trust for their personal gain.”
Raoul’s indictment alleges Mazon was employed full time as an agricultural commodity aid for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and was responsible for sampling and inspecting the condition of grain, rice and miscellaneous agricultural commodities to ensure it meets contract specifications. In his role, Mazon was required to drive a government-issued vehicle to various grain facilities and was given a government-issued fuel card to purchase gasoline.
After receiving allegations of suspicious activity from the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), the U.S. General Services, Office of the Inspector General (GSA-OIG) and the USDA-Office of Inspector General (USDA-OIG) initiated an investigation. Raoul alleges the investigation found Mazon used a government-issued fuel card for nearly two years to purchase $10,544.23 worth of gasoline for his friends and associates. The investigation also found Mazon allegedly drove his government-issued vehicle after his driving privileges were suspended by the state of Illinois.
“Using one’s official position to commit fraud against the U.S. Government is an intolerable act that violates the public’s trust,” said USDA-OIG Special Agent-in-Charge Shantel R. Robinson.
“Federal employees who use public funds for personal financial gain will be held accountable,” said GSA OIG Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey P. Ryan. “We will continue working with our law enforcement partners to fight fraud and safeguard taxpayer dollars.”
The public is reminded the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Deputy Bureau Chief Jonas Harger is prosecuting the case for Raoul’s Public Integrity Bureau.
Source: Illinois Attorney General press release