- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 29, 2015

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - A federal judge sentenced a former Bureau of Land Management employee on Wednesday to a year in prison after he pleaded guilty to continuing to draw a federal salary after leaving his job for another.

U.S. District Judge Brian Morris also ordered Larry Denny to repay more than $74,000 along with his former supervisor at the BLM, who was previously sentenced to six months in prison for covering up for Denny.

Prosecutors said Denny continued to collect a salary and benefits after he left his position as former deputy state director of the BLM’s Eastern States Office in July 2012 to work for Montana’s Chippewa Cree Tribe.

He had cited health issues as the reason for leaving his job, but an investigation found that Denny visited various golf courses and traveled to Las Vegas and Arizona during that time, according to prosecutors.

From July 2012 through March 2013, the BLM paid Denny for 550 hours of regular work, 461 hours of sick leave, 389 hours of annual leave and 72 hours for federal holidays, the indictment said. He also failed to report the income he made from the Montana tribe, prosecutors said.

Denny pleaded guilty in March to charges of wire fraud, false claims, theft of government property and falsely representing outside income.

Former BLM Eastern States Director John Grimson Lyon was convicted in March of covering up for Denny. A jury convicted the 61-year-old Clifton, Virginia, man of wire fraud, false claims and theft of government property

Lyon had said his supervision of Denny was negligent and did not warrant criminal charges.

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