updated 8/16/2007 11:14:23 PM ET 2007-08-17T03:14:23

A former NASA employee pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to fraudulently charging more than $150,000 to the agency for personal purchases, including a bed, artwork and an air conditioner.

Elizabeth Ann Osborne, 52, pleaded guilty to embezzling $157,384.21 from NASA, where she worked for 31 years, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

An investigation showed Osborne used her NASA-issued credit card for fraudulent purchases from January 2001 to November 2005. Purchases were made at Best Buy, Sears and more than $51,000 was spent at Wal-Mart, according to court documents.

Osborne held numerous jobs during her time at NASA, but most recently she was responsible for ordering furniture and other supplies for conference rooms at Kennedy Space Center, NASA spokeswoman Lisa Malone told The Associated Press.

“It’s unfortunate that she committed these acts,” she said. “It’s good that the employees are caught and prevented from doing it in the future. It sends a message to employees that you have responsibilities that you’re expected to carry out.”

Her attorney, Robert Leventhal, said his client has cooperated with NASA investigators.

“She has let herself, her family and NASA down and for that, she is remorseful and continues to do what is right to make amends for her misconduct,” Leventhal told the newspaper.

Osborne faces up to 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 and three years of supervision after her release. She is also required to pay back NASA.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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