Former US embassy security officer jailed over Jamaica visa scam

VIRGINIA, United States, Wednesday July 10, 2013 – A Virginia court has sentenced David. J Rainsberger, the former security chief at the United States Embassy in Jamaica to a year in jail after he accepted gifts in exchange for helping a Jamaican Deejay gain a United States visa.

Rainsberger 33, had pleaded guilty earlier this year to accepting two luxury watches worth approximately US$2,500 from the Jamaican entertainer, identified only in court documents as “DB”, in addition to free admission to nightclubs, backstage access to concerts, and a birthday party hosted by the musician.

The musician had previously been unable to obtain a visa because of accusations of criminal activity.

The incident occurred while Rainsberger, then a member of the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service, was stationed at the US Embassy in Kingston from 2009 to 2011.

According to a release posted on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia in February, while in Jamaica, Rainsberger “befriended” the well-known musician whose entry to the US had been barred because of allegations of criminal conduct.

The statement said that 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”.

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.

The prosecution had sought a two year jail term for the former security chief, while the defence sought home detention. (CMC) Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)