A United States law enforcement officer with the State Department's Diplomatic Security Service has pleaded guilty to receiving unlawful gratuities after helping a popular Jamaican deejay obtain a US visa following an earlier visa revocation.
According to a release posted on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, the incident occurred while the officer, 32-year-old David J Rainsberger, was stationed at the US Embassy in Kingston.
Rainsberger served as an assistant regional security officer for investigations at the embassy in Kingston from 2009 to 2011, according to the release.
"While there," the release stated, "Rainsberger befriended a well-known Jamaican musician whose entry to the US had been barred because of allegations of criminal conduct."
No reason was given when the artiste's visa was revoked in 2010, along with those of other high-profile entertainers who depend on the United States market to boost their earnings and exposure.
According to the release, Rainsberger's investigation "of this individual" resulted in the reinstatement of his visa, "which allowed the individual to travel to the US to take advantage of performance and recording opportunities".
As a result of Rainsberger's assistance, the release said, the artiste purchased for him two luxury watches worth approximately US$2,500. In addition, Rainsberger received free admission to nightclubs, backstage access to concerts, and a birthday party hosted by the musician.
In addition to the charge of receiving unlawful gratuities, Rainsberger also pleaded guilty in an Alexandria, Virginia court to making false statements to the United States Government on a national security questionnaire which is required to maintain his security clearance.
Rainsberger faces a maximum penalty of two years in prison on the gratuities charge and five years in prison on the false statements charge. He is scheduled for sentencing on April 19.
The false statement charge, according to the release, stems from allegations that Rainsberger, who was already married, became engaged to a Jamaican and intentionally withheld disclosure of the relationship from the US Government on Office of Personnel Management Standard Form 86, a national security questionnaire that requires disclosure of close and continuing contact with foreign nationals.
The US authorities also said that Rainsberger repeatedly accessed, without authority, Department of State visa and passport databases for personal purposes.