(Aug. 8) Another scandal has found the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the most unlikely of places.

Thomas Gambill, a USDA official who directed new inspector training for the Agricultural Marketing Service in the wake of the 1999 Hunts Point bribery scandal, himself pled guilty to illegally reselling software packages worth more than $162,000, according to an internal USDA memo to all Fresh Products Branch employees from Leanne Skelton, chief of the AMS fresh products branch.

Gambill was director of the USDA’s Fredericksburg, Va.-based fresh produce inspector training center, which Congress created after the Hunts Point inspection scandal. The facility hosts 10-week training sessions required for all new inspectors and includes training on ethics as well as commodity grading standards. The facility also has been used for industry training on inspection standards.

Gambill was director of the multimillion dollar facility when it opened in 2001 and served in Fredericksburg until 2004 when he was transferred to Washington, D.C., one USDA official said, speaking on background.

AMS spokesman Jimmie Turner said USDA would have no comment on the timeline of Gambill’s employment status or any other matters related to the case until Gambill is sentenced. That is scheduled for Sept. 19, he said.

The Packer obtained the May 15 memo in early August in the mail from an anonymous source.

Gambill couldn’t be reached for comment.

In the memo, Skelton said Gambill pled guilty April 26 to one count of “theft of government monies” in the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. From Nov. 22, 2000, through Dec. 8 of 2003, Gambill resold software packages without authorization for $162,858.93, the memo said.

In the memo, Skelton said the plea will require Gambill to make full restitution.