Jeff Chiu/AP

Former officer sent to prison after defrauding Coast Guard

Lt. Danielle Ferreira sentenced to 21 months for arranging contracts for family members.

A Coast Guard officer was sentenced to 21 months in prison and ordered to pay more than $98,000 in restitution after pleading guilty to wire fraud and embezzling approximately $150,000.

Lt. Danielle Daniese Ferreira, 36, recommended a company owned by her cousin for maintenance contracting aboard Coast Guard ships stationed on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts and then deposited the payments from the Treasury Department into bank accounts she and her husband owned, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

An Alexandria, Va., native, Ferreira will serve three years of supervised release following her prison sentence.

Ferreira was a Type Desk Manager stationed in Norfolk, Va., charged with recommending and overseeing contractors for maintenance to Coast Guard cutters. She made five requests for Strategy One LLC, a small, Connecticut-based company with no experience in ship maintenance, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. She then recruited active and former Coast Guard service members to complete the work. The payments were deposited into business accounts -- Black Kai Boxing Academy and TEDD Electric -- to which Ferreira had direct access.

The case was investigated by the Homeland Security Department inspector general and the Coast Guard Investigative Service after receiving a tip from a third-party contractor. Ferreira pleaded guilty Dec. 5, 2011.