U.S. Attorney David R. Dugas announced that a federal grand jury returned a five-count indictment charging Philip Halbert Neilson, age 49, a resident of Oxford, Miss., with acts affecting a personal financial interest and false statements to a federal agency and agent.

The indictment alleges that Neilson is a Special Agent of the FBI and that beginning in 2001 he took an active part in the construction and lease of the Oxford FBI Building. Counts one and two allege that Neilson failed to disclose to the FBI the fact that he had a financial interest in the Oxford FBI Building since 2004.

Counts three and four allege that in 2004 and 2005, as the Supervisory Senior Resident Agent in Charge of the Oxford Resident Agency, Neilson was required to truthfully complete an annual report of his assets and income, liabilities and positions with organizations outside of his FBI employment. The indictment further alleges that Neilson knowingly and willfully made and used, and caused to be made and used, a false writing and document (that is, his 2004 and 2005 Confidential Financial Disclosure Reports), knowing the reports to contain material false and fraudulent statements and entries.

Count five alleges that in October 2008, Neilson knowingly and willfully made, and caused to be made, a materially false and fraudulent statement and representation to an agent of the Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, during an interview of Neilson.

If convicted of all counts, Neilson could receive a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine.

The case is being investigated by Special Agent Susan Howell of the Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys René Salomon and Rich Bourgeois of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana.

An indictment is a determination by a grand jury that there is probable cause to believe that offenses have been committed by the defendant. The defendant is, of course, presumed innocent until and unless he is proven guilty at trial.

Verbatim from USDOJ