Man sentenced to a year in prison for impersonating a federal

Staff Report

The Associated Press

AMARILLO, Texas (AP) - An Amarillo federal judge has sentenced a man to 12 months in prison for impersonating a high-ranking federal employee.

Christopher Wayne Ralston was sentenced Friday after pleading guilty in August to one count of false impersonation of a federal employee. U.S. District Judge Mary Lou Robinson also ordered the 36-year-old man to pay $19,200 in restitution.

Court documents say Ralston posed as a Justice Department operations director in charge of establishing a federal program in Amarillo. He indicated to an Amarillo homebuilder that he'd buy a home with a $320,000 wire transfer from the Justice Department. Based on that assurance, the builder completed a home to Ralston's specifications.

He also had 13 people complete a federal questionnaire for national security positions, which includes extensive personal information.