Feds: Woman pleads guilty to trying to defraud Federal Bureau of Prisons
A law consultant from Michigan pleaded guilty in federal court on Tuesday for charges related to her role in trying to defraud the Federal Bureau of Prisons, according to the state Department of Justice.
Constance Moerland, 33, of Hudsonville, Mich., pleaded guilty to the charge of conspiring to defraud the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
The charge stemmed from her role “in a scheme to qualify prospective and current federal inmates who do not require substance abuse treatment for admission into a Federal Bureau of Prisons program that, if completed successfully, will result in a shortened prison term,” the DOJ said.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons offers the Residential Drug Abuse Program — a 500-hour substance abuse treatment program — for inmates. To participate in the program, a federal inmate must meet certain criteria, including having a drug or alcohol abuse disorder.
When the inmate finishes RDAP, they qualify for up to 12 months off their sentence.
Moreland was employed by Michigan-based RDAP Law Consultants when she solicited and engaged prospective clients of the company, the DOJ said. She regularly contacted federal defendants and inmates to offer to help them apply for admission to the RDAP. The DOJ said she offered that help “for a fee.”
“Although Moerland knew that many of the company’s clients did not abuse alcohol or drugs and were ineligible for the RDAP, she coached them how to feign or exaggerate a drug or alcohol disorder, and to make false statements to the BOP so they could gain admission to the RDAP,” the DOJ said.
Moerland was arrested Jan. 23. She has been released pending sentencing.
She is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 21. At the time of her sentencing, she faces a maximum term of five years in prison.