David Monington, a wildland fire contractor, has been sentenced to 10 months in federal prison for forging the names of fire training instructors on course completion certificates and task books. In addition, his sentence which came down on February 1, ordered that he receive psychiatric care, requires that he pay $5,000 in restitution to one of his victims, and that he pay for his own incarceration.
Here is what we wrote about the case on November 8, 2009:
In a case that Wildfire Today has been following since November 17, 2008, David Monington pleaded guilty last week in a Rapid City, SD federal court to mail fraud for sending wildfire training certificates through the mail with forged signatures of fire training instructors.
The original indictment for Mr. Monington alleged he forged about 20 signatures of South Dakota firefighting officials in an attempt to gain certification from the National Wildfire Suppression Association. The documents included training certificates, position task books, and a performance rating. The documents fraudulently attest to his training and experience as a firefighter.
Mr. Monington was trying to become qualified as Air Tactical Group Supervisor, Strike Team Leader, and Helibase Manager.
“A number of the printed names and signatures of certifying officials were misspelled, while others were followed by incorrect listings of the certifying officials’ titles,” the indictment stated.
The charge to which he pleaded guilty carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, but the plea deal specifies that the prosecutors will recommend five years of probation and $5,000 restitution when Mr. Monington is sentenced on February 1, 2010.
It is interesting that the plea deal did not include any prison time, but the judge sentenced him to 10 months. GREAT! It is frightening that someone came close to being certified as Air Tactical Group Supervisor, Strike Team Leader, and Helibase Manager without the appropriate training and experience.
UPDATE, Feb. 9:
We have posted an update, with the details about Monington’s crime, HERE.