Former National Institutes of Health Employee Pleads Guilty to Theft of Government Property

Department of Justice U.S. Attorney’s Office

District of Maryland


Friday, May 5, 2017

Greenbelt, Maryland – Christopher Dame, age 50, of Gaithersburg, Maryland pleaded guilty on May 3, 2017, to theft of government property. Dame, a former Visual Information Specialist for the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Medical Arts Division located in Bethesda, Maryland, admitted to stealing NIH property and selling it online without authorization.

The guilty plea was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Stephen M. Schenning; Special Agent in Charge Elton Malone of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General; and Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

According to his plea agreement, Dame was responsible for designing, printing, and displaying decorative and informational materials in NIH buildings, as well as directing his colleagues to place purchase orders of printing ink for the Medical Arts Division. At no point did Dame have authority to remove NIH property from the main campus or sell NIH property.

Dame admitted that from January 3, 2013, through January 12, 2017, he regularly stole medical research equipment, photography equipment, and printing supplies belonging to NIH, and sold such items through an e-commerce corporation, enriching himself. also deceived his colleagues into purchasing surplus ink for NIH, with the intent to ultimately steal the ink and sell it online. During the relevant time period, Dame stole over four hundred items belonging to NIH. As part of his plea agreement, Dame will be required to pay restitution in the full amount of the loss, which is $75,613.14.

Dame faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy J. Sullivan has scheduled sentencing for September 6, 2017, at 2:30 p.m.

Acting United States Attorney Stephen M. Schenning commended the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General for its work in the investigation. Mr. Schenning thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael T. Packard, and Trial Attorney Simon J. Cataldo from the Department of Justice, Public Integrity Section, who are prosecuting the case.