A former state contractor who pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges earlier this year, as a result of a joint investigation by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District Preet Bharara, was sentenced today to a year and one day in prison and ordered to pay a total of $721,112 in restitution and criminal forfeiture.
“Joseph Junkovic took taxpayer dollars meant to screen individuals for cancer and used the money to fund his lavish lifestyle of world traveling and gambling,” DiNapoli said. “This conviction sends a strong message to others who might defraud the state. I commend U.S. Attorney Bharara and his staff for their work to bring Mr. Junkovic to justice, and I will continue to work with United States Attorneys and prosecutors statewide to combat corruption in the misuse of public funds.”
Junkovic, 49, of the Bronx, pleaded guilty in March to one count of mail fraud and one count of theft of U.S. government property.
DiNapoli’s staff found that Junkovic defrauded the state by billing for thousands of hours that he did not work while he took overseas vacations to Europe, frequented casinos, and patronized high-end clothing stores. Junkovic went as far as billing the state for working over 24 hours a day on a few occasions.
This is the latest example of the ongoing collaboration between DiNapoli and U.S. Attorney Bharara. Earlier this month, Cheon Park pleaded guilty to federal mail fraud and was sentenced to pay $2 million in restitution in a matter stemming from the Comptroller’s examination of Bilingual SEIT and Preschool Inc.
DiNapoli encourages the public to help fight fraud and abuse. New Yorkers can report allegations of fraud involving taxpayer money by calling the toll-free Fraud Hotline at 1-888-672-4555, by filing a complaint online at [email protected], or by mailing a complaint to: Office of the State Comptroller, Investigations Unit, 14th Floor, 110 State St., Albany, NY 12236.
For a copy of DiNapoli’s report, visit: http://osc.state.ny.us/audits/allaudits/bseaudits/bse20140924.pdf