A former National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) official pleaded guilty to making false statements to federal investigators regarding his financial interest in a private company.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente of the Eastern District of Virginia, Assistant Inspector General for Investigations Patricia C. Langford of NGA and Acting Special Agent in Charge Paul Sternal of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) Mid-Atlantic Field Office made the announcement.
Brian P. Hearing, 43, of Falls Church, Virginia, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge T. S. Ellis III of the Eastern District of Virginia to an information charging him with making material false statements to federal investigators.
According to the statement of facts filed along with his plea agreement, Hearing worked at NGA from 2011 to 2015 in its Innovision Directorate, an applied science and technology research group. Hearing admitted that, during this time, he also co-founded a private company for the purpose of developing and commercializing a certain type of automated detection system. Hearing also admitted that he inappropriately used his position with the NGA to promote the company.
In connection with his guilty plea, Hearing also admitted that, when questioned by federal agents about his involvement with the company, he lied to conceal his conflict of interest. Among other things, Hearing admitted to falsely claiming that another individual was the only founder of the company and to denying having any legal or financial connections to the company when, in fact, he co-founded the company and shared equal ownership of it.
This case was investigated by the NGA-OIG and the DCIS. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Heidi Boutros Gesch of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul J. Nathanson of the Eastern District of Virginia.