Former employee at Sandia National Laboratories, Joshua Cordova pleads guilty to mail fraud and theft
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M (STL.News) Joshua Cordova, 39, of Albuquerque, pleaded guilty in federal court on May 5 to mail fraud and theft of federal funds. Cordova was indicted on Dec. 17, 2019.
From approximately 2010 to December 2018, Cordova was employed by Sandia Corporation and later National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia, which were contracted by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to operate Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). Cordova’s duties included providing training to military, law enforcement and emergency response personnel in the use of equipment developed at SNL. Beginning in late 2012, Cordova applied for and was issued a purchasing card funded by DOE for the limited purpose of procuring equipment and materials necessary for Cordova to perform his duties at SNL.
In the plea agreement, Cordova admitted that from at least September 2014 through September 2018 he fraudulently used his purchasing card to procure items for the personal use of himself and his family and associates. These items included: jewelry; watches, clothing; shoes; golf clubs and golf accessories; exercise equipment; toys; barber equipment, furnishings and supplies; building materials; and home appliances.
To conceal the fraudulent use of his purchasing card, Cordova made misrepresentations and false statements, claiming in his monthly reconciliation reports the purchases were legitimate items. For example, in August 2017, Cordova purchased a diamond ring for $944 from Amazon.com that was shipped to his home. In his monthly report, he represented the purchase as “2 carbon fiber Manfredo 510 tripods.”
A sentencing date has not been scheduled. Cordova faces up to 20 years in prison.
The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Inspector General investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy S. Vasquez is prosecuting the case.