Customs agent, wife arrested at ferry dock in Port Angeles
John and Joy Weaver are seen in a Facebook snapshot.
By Paul Gottlieb
Peninsula Daily News
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John E. Weaver, his wife and their three children were disembarking from the MV Coho passenger ferry's late-afternoon Tuesday sailing from Victoria to Port Angeles when he was arrested by federal agents who were waiting for him at the ferry dock, said Andrew Munoz, spokesman for U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement, which investigated the case.
Weaver spent the night in the Clallam County jail and was formally charged with fraud in federal court in Tacoma on Wednesday.
His wife, Joy Weaver, was not taken into custody in Port Angeles but was charged Wednesday with the same felony as her husband.
It is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
John Weaver allegedly submitted more than $8,000 in false claims for fictitious expenditures for his children's publicly paid education allowance, Emily Langlie, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Seattle, said in a statement.
Federal employees are eligible for the allowance for their minor children when they are stationed in foreign countries.
John Weaver had been assigned to desk duty during the investigation and has been placed on paid administrative leave, Langlie said.
As a preclearance officer, he screened passengers at the Black Ball Ferry Line terminal in Victoria before they proceeded to the United States.
“Anyone coming to Port Angeles on the ferry encountered him,” Munoz said.
The couple were released on their own recognizance after their court appearance.
The judge permitted them to travel back to their home in Victoria but ordered them to appear at a Sept. 4 court hearing.
Weaver was stationed in Texas prior to his posting in Victoria, Munoz said.
Expenses covered by the educational allowance include basic tuition for required and elective courses, books and supplies, and local transportation on school days between the school and the employee's home.
According to the complaint, in 2009 and 2010, Joy Weaver allegedly created fictitious invoices for tuition that was twice the actual amount of tuition.
John Weaver allegedly submitted those claims to Customs and Border Protection's Office of Administration.
When a financial program analyst checked with the school to inquire if there were costs for books and supplies that should be reimbursed, a school official indicated the invoices prepared and submitted by the Weavers did not accurately reflect the cost of tuition and had not been produced by the school, Langlie said.
The case was investigated by ICE's Office of Professional Responsibility.
“ICE's Office of Professional Responsibility exists to ensure the integrity of both CBP and ICE employees, who hold positions of public trust and are charged with securing our nations borders,” Munoz said.
ICE was assisted by ICE's Homeland Security Investigations directorate, U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Office of Internal Affairs and the Department of Homeland Security's Office of the Inspector General.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5060, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last modified: August 15. 2013 5:59PM