- A federal grand jury indicts Jeffrey Neely on five counts
- He's accused of filing false expense accounts
- He was criticized for organizing a $800,000 Las Vegas conference
A former General Services Administration official who organized a lavish 2010 Las Vegas conference that critics lambasted as a waste of taxpayer money was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury in San Francisco.
Jeffrey Neely, who was famously photographed in a bathtub in a Las Vegas hotel room with wine glasses nearby, had served as a GSA regional commissioner.
Neely was indicted on three counts of making false claims, one count of using false documents and one count of making false statements, according to court documents. Each charge is punishable by five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
The indictments allege Neely asked the GSA to pay for two trips to Las Vegas as well as trips to Long Beach and Cambria, California, knowing they weren't for business purposes. He's also being prosecuted for an allegedly false travel voucher filed for roundtrip airfare between Guam and Saipan.
During 2012 hearings, members of Congress sharply criticized the GSA for lax oversight of billions of dollars in contracts and called for the agency to clean house as it roots out corruption.
Neely cited his Fifth Amendment rights and refused to testify.
The scandal came to light when a GSA inspector released a report shedding light on the Las Vegas conference as well as violations of travel and spending rules.
Among other details, the report explained how Neely, and presumably others, avoided strictures against supplying food at government work conferences such as the Las Vegas event by creating joke awards in order to hold ceremonies at which food would be allowed.
It was not clear from the indictment what occurs next in the case, or what Neely's status was on Thursday. Neely is expected to make his first court appearance on October 20.