TODAY

TODAY   |  December 18, 2013

Alleged fake CIA agent to be sentenced

John Beale, A former top EPA official, is expected to be sentenced in federal court Wednesday, accused of defrauding taxpayers of nearly $900,000 after claiming he was an undercover CIA agent.  NBC’s Michael Isikoff reports.

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>>> a bizarre story. how far would you go to get out of work? a top epa official will be sentenced for milking the government out of almost $1 million for claiming he worked undercover for the cia . details on that.

>> his name is beal. john beal . with a license to steal.

>> i decline to answer that question on the basis of my 5th amendment privilege.

>> the highest paid official at the epa did absolutely no work for years according to court documents, claiming he was serving as an undercover spy for the cia .

>> he never worked for the cia . there's no record of him even being on the premises.

>> reporter: they obtained his internal e-mails revealing how he pulled off his sherade. i'm at langly this morning and another i'm in pakistan. what was he really doing?

>> he was riding his bicycle and reading books and working around his house.

>> reporter: he is now seeing a therapist. he also received hundreds of thousands of dollars in bonuses and billed taxpayers for first class air tickets and claimed he was suffering from malaria that he got in vietnam where they had never been so he could get a handicap shopping space. they're now wondering why his boss didn't challenge his cover stories. mccarthy discovered beale's fraud and imposed new controls. he is due to be sentenced this