Alabama man pleads guilty in hotel rewards points scheme at Maxwell AFB
Montgomery Advertiser, Ala.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A Prattville man has pleaded guilty to steering people taking courses at Maxwell Air Force Base to stay at a hotel rather than on base so he could personally gain Marriott Rewards Points.
James Whitaker, 59, pleaded guilty to one count of participating in an act which affected a personal interest, the U.S. attorney’s office announced Wednesday.
The purpose of the law is to prevent government employees from mishandling public money for personal gain, U.S. Attorney George Beck said.
Whitaker was an employee of the Air Force Legal Operations Agency when he was directing people to stay at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center instead of on base or in other approved housing.
From Jan. 27, 2011, until June 23, 2011, Whitaker received 100,000 Marriott Rewards Points, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. The points have a value of $1,250, according to Marriott International.
Whitaker was the director of the administrative division when he was with the Legal Operations Agency, Maxwell spokesman Phil Berube said.
The case was investigated by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.