Former federal agent from Mesa sentenced after driving for Lyft, Uber while on duty

Sean M. Nelson, 44, was sentenced to two years of federal probation and ordered to pay...
Sean M. Nelson, 44, was sentenced to two years of federal probation and ordered to pay thousands in restitution. File image.(Arizona's Family)
Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 12:45 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — A former federal agent from Mesa will have to pay thousands in restitution after using his government-owned vehicle to drive for Lyft and other companies while on duty.

Sean M. Nelson, 44, was previously a Special Agent with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Between Nov. 2019 and Oct. 2021, the U.S. Attorney’s Office says Nelson worked for several private companies without authorization, using his government-owned vehicle to drive for Lyft, Uber, and Amazon while on duty. Prosecutors say his actions resulted in tens of thousands of dollars in losses to the U.S. government.

As part of a plea deal last October, Nelson resigned from the Department of Homeland Security and pleaded guilty to Theft of Government Property. Last week, a judge sentenced him to two years of federal probation and ordered him to pay $133,999 in restitution.

“As a result of the conviction, Mr. Nelson has forfeited much of his salary during the time period of his on-the-job criminal activity, and as a federal felon he’ll never lawfully possess or use a firearm ever again,” said United States Attorney Gary Restaino. “His dereliction of duty was a grave disservice to his hard-working law enforcement colleagues and the taxpayers alike.”