Ex-FBI Evidence Technician Gets 15 Months for Lying About Stealing About $80,000 in Evidence

By Allan Lengel

A former FBI evidence technician in the agency’s Merrillville, Ind. office was sentenced Thursday in Hammond, Ind., to 15 months in prison for lying about stealing nearly $80,000 in evidence that she kept for herself instead of properly returning the cash as she claimed she did.

Melissa L. Sims, 37, of Howell, Ind., who worked as a technician from 1996 to September 2008, was also ordered to pay $77,882 in restitution as part of her sentence, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

She was ordered to begin serving her sentence on Nov. 28.

Sims pleaded guilty on Feb. 15 to making false statements to FBI agents conducting an investigation.

According to her plea agreement, between 2005 and August 2008, Sims stole or embezzled nearly $80,000 in evidence that she was responsible for.

Instead of contacting certain individuals and returning the money to them, she kept it herself, authorities said.

On at least 10 different dates, she signed 16 separate forms stating that various amounts of cash, ranging from $2 to $2,790, had been “released” or “returned,” when she had actually taken the money for herself.


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