Karen Strayer pleads guilty to government fraud

GREENBELT, Md. (AP) - Prosecutors say a Virginia woman has pleaded guilty to government fraud which netted her and her husband more than $100,000.

Forty-eight-year-old Karen Strayer of Lovettsville, Va. entered the plea Tuesday. She faces a maximum term of one year in prison at sentencing on Dec. 6.

Strayer has agreed to pay restitution of $104,000. Karen Strayer, formerly Karen Earle, and her husband, Michael Strayer, were indicted in May. Prosecutors said Michael Strayer, a former employee at the Department of Energy, started a magazine for the department and academic communities.

He told the magazine publisher to hire Karen Strayer, then his girlfriend, as a consultant. Karen Strayer's company was paid for articles that were provided for free.

Michael Strayer committed suicide in June.