Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - 53-year-old Adrian Anthony Aragon was sentenced in Missoula Federal Court this week to over two years in prison after admitting to stealing more than $10,000 by using his employee credit card for personal expenses.

I spoke with Montana’s U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich on Wednesday on why he took a personal interest in the case.

U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich Took a Personal Interest in this Case

“This is serious for us,” began Laslovich. “Any time there’s an employee of any government, a public employee, but especially a federal employee, and in this instance, a former BLM employee who in 2019 and 2020, used a government-issued travel card for personal expenses. He was federally prosecuted for that, and then also subsequently doing what we what he's being held accountable for now, that is forging a signature to incur more losses in a co-worker's name.”

Laslovich said even though it was a relatively small amount of money, Aragon was representing the federal government at the time.

Laslovich said he would Aggressively Prosecute the Case

“It’s not a lot of money in the whole scheme of things,” he said. “Our office typically deals with, as you know, losses in the amount, of six or even seven figures, and this is only $10,000, but because of his role as a federal employee, the fact that these are taxpayer dollars, of course, we're going to be aggressive.”

A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office stated that “while on federal supervised release, Aragon forged the signature of a former co-worker on stolen BLM checks and incurred more than $10,000 in losses in the co-worker’s name.”

Laslovich emphasized this fact.

“Because of his previous conviction, and because he did this conduct while he was under federal supervision from that previous conviction, his sentence was longer. We felt even more strongly about the fact that he has a history of this behavior and needs to go to federal prison, and indeed will be in federal prison for two years and seven months.”

READ MORE: Missoula News - Crime Reports

The Judge also Ordered $8,600 in Restitution

Laslovich emphasized the importance of holding Aragon responsible for his actions.

“We have a few bad apples,” he said. However, in large part, people are doing their jobs and doing them very well as public servants, but we have a few that fall short of the expectations and requirements that the public deserves, and that's why we need to be aggressive in holding them accountable.”

U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen presided and also ordered $8,600 in restitution.

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