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Former Georgia Tech employees charged with Fraud

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Three former Georgia Tech employees face fraud charges after allegedly spending $250,000 of university funds on personal items, including upgrades to a private hunting lodge.

Prosecutors charged James G. Maloney of Marietta, GA, with committing and conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud against the United States and Georgia Tech.

The other former employees, James D. Acree of Atlanta and James D. Fraley, III of Acworth, GA, were also charged in the conspiracy.

All three were employed in Georgia Tech’s Advanced Concepts Laboratory, servicing clients like the Department of Defense and various intelligence agencies.

As part of this job, Fraley had access to a Georgia Tech procurement card, or “PCard”, for making university-related purchases.

Instead, the three defendants allegedly used the card for wild personal expenses, including two four-wheelers, night vision goggles, flat screen TVs, at least four different cameras, and an uninterruptable power supply for a tennis ball machine.

Maloney and Fraley also allegedly used the PCard to pay for maintenance and remodeling on six rental properties the two owned together.

Eventually, Georgia Tech’s Internal Auditing Department caught wind of the fraud and began to investigate. That’s when the three defendants allegedly got together to get their stories straight, conversations that Fraley recorded and later turned over to the FBI.

Maloney, Fraley, and Acree also allegedly took on $600,000 of outside consulting work while employed full-time at Georgia Tech, funneling money and clients away from the university. 

Prosecutors charge that Maloney and Fraley directed students and Georgia Tech staff under their control to assist with the consulting work, billing student and staff time to a US government contract Maloney controlled at the university.

A federal grand jury indicted Maloney on June 28. Fraley and Acree waived indictment and indicated they intend to plead guilty to participating in the conspiracy.  

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