OCTOBER 27, 2006
A veteran government employee, who has presented reports to Congress, spent thousands of dollars over the years to hire prostitutes during times when he was supposedly on official government business.
Shang Hsiung, a specialist in fuel cell technology for the Department of Transportation, actually pleaded guilty to the charges and resigned from his 30-year position after a brief suspension. He faces up to 14 months in prison.
Hsiung said he stole colleague’s credit card numbers to hire the prostitutes from upscale escort services and sometimes used stolen credit card numbers from random victims whose receipts he got at restaurants. In all, Hsiung charged nearly $40,000 mostly during work-related trips.
Additionally, he used his government-issued cell phone to call at least 100 escort services and his work computer to search for the businesses, often pretending to be the vice president of a company. After three decades as a highly regarded government employee, Hsiung was initially placed on “paid leave” and he resigned before officials could fire him.
Besides the embarrassment to his longtime employer, the United States Government, Hsiung has also shamed the sport he loves and has coached for years. Hsiung is a well-known and highly regarded youth volleyball coach in Maryland who once coached the men’s club team at the University of Maryland.
One player, who said Hsiung has coached him since he was 10, refused to believe his mentor could do such a thing and said that anyone who knows anything about volleyball on the East Coast, knows and respects Shang.
Clearly, they didn’t about his extracurricular activities on the government’s dime.
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