CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A former Department of Highways employee is set to enter a guilty plea Monday in a federal fraud case. He is accused of pocketing more than $50,000 in falsified travel expenses.
Steven Hull, a former engineering technician, is accused of fraud over several years during his employment with DOH.
As part of his job, he traveled around the state and sought reimbursement for his hotel and meal costs.
He is accused of first inflating his expense reports and then falsifying them entirely, starting in 2014..
“At the beginning of his scheme, defendant Steven Hull overstated the amount due to him on his expense reports by falsely adding days to the invoices and expense reports he submitted, when in fact he had neither stayed at nor paid for hotel rooms on those extra days,” according to an information filed in U.S. District Court in Southern West Virginia.
Then he is accused of becoming more brazen.
“In approximately June 2014 through the end of his scheme, defendant Steven Null’s representations regarding hotel rooms on his expense reports became entirely fabricated,” according to the federal information.
Federal prosecutors say he filed expense reports indicating that he stayed at a hotel, often a Holiday Inn, often for a week at a time.
He would create and attach false hotel invoices to his expense reports, sometimes adding detailed entries such as line items for state and local occupancy taxes, the last four digits of a credit card number and a hotel rewards code number.
Actually, the prosecutors say, Hull was renting a room for $600 cash on a monthly basis from a hotel in Moundsville.
Prosecutors say he paid $18,144 in cash for his monthly rental from June 16, 2014, to Dec. 16, 2016.
They say he received $70,563.14 in expense reimbursements from the State of West Virginia and kept the difference.