The Department of Justice has worked out a deal in which a former Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives criminal investigator will pay to settle a case brought about after he allegedly claimed sick leave for cancer he did not have.
Douglas daCosta, a former ATF Senior Special Agent retired in June 2009 after 28 years with the agency where he worked in the San Francisco field division. The government felt that daCosta claimed more than 80 days of paid sick leave in the six month period leading up to his retirement.
To show proof of his illness, the government maintained that daCosta forged a letter from a doctor stating that he was undergoing extensive treatment for cancer, from which he did not suffer. They also contend that while he was on paid sick leave, he was double dipping by taking outside employment.
The DOJ on Wednesday announced the Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch had come to a settlement with DaCosta in which he would pay the government $40,000 to resolve the matter.
“Federal agents must be held to answer when they breach the public’s trust,” said Special Agent in Charge Elise Chawaga of the DOJ’s Office of Inspector General’s Fraud Detection Office. “The Office of the Inspector General remains vigilant in its effort to uncover government waste, fraud and abuse and to recover all ill-gotten gains.”
While with the ATF, daCosta helped investigate a series of pipe bomb attacks between biker gangs in the San Jose area and is mentioned in a 2014 autobiography by retired DEA undercover agent Edward Follis. On the former CleanUpATF.org website, daCosta is listed as a one-time whistleblower inside the ATF .
DaCosta’s current Linkedin profile lists him as a partner in two international security companies with offices in Singapore and London, among others, since 2009.