Stacy Caruvana was in the process of divorcing her husband, a NASA employee, when she started receiving threatening emails and text messages.
Caruvana claimed they were being sent by her husband, who she said was harassing her and making threats on her life, The Orlando Sentinel reported. She sent the threatening messages to NASA’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG). An “anonymous letter” was also sent to the OIG, claiming Caruvana’s ex-husband had committed domestic violence, used illegal drugs, and possessed child pornography, along with other accusations.
Caruvana’s ex-husband “was arrested in October 2018 and extradited to Ocean County, N.J., where authorities had issued a warrant based on the phony messages, records show,” the Sentinel reported. “He was in custody for 23 days before being released on bond.”
He was also placed on leave from his job with NASA.
The Charlotte Observer reported that Caruvana “also sent an email to the investigator with the indictment and a temporary restraining order attached.” Along with those items, Caruvana also attached a statement claiming her ex-husband was still threatening to kill her, including one message that reportedly read: “I can’t wait to see your lifeless body soiled in (expletive) dumped in the Hudson.”
As the Sentinel reported, investigators discovered that Caruvana actually sent the messages to herself using a second phone she purchased in an effort to frame her ex-husband. Caruvana eventually admitted to faking the messages and agreed to a plea deal that dismissed one “count of falsifying records and two counts of lying to authorities,” the Sentinel reported. In exchange, Caruvana pleaded guilty to fabricating the messages and was sentenced to six months in federal prison followed by one year of probation.
The charges against her ex-husband were dropped once it was discovered she had fabricated the messages.
“I am extremely proud of the exceptional work by our agents and law enforcement partners in rooting out the malicious and damaging false claims made by the subject, and in doing so protecting the integrity of the agency and the NASA workforce,” Curtis Vaughn, NASA’s special agent-in-charge, said in a statement regarding the case.
The U.S. Department of Justice explained that Caruvana first sent the “anonymous” letter to the OIG before purchasing the second phone to send herself threatening messages. She then falsely told law enforcement that her ex-husband had sent her those messages. While the OIG was investigating the case, Caruvana falsified emails she claimed were from her ex-husband’s email account and then submitted those falsified documents to the OIG. She also repeatedly told OIG agents that her ex-husband was continuing to call and threaten her.
When the OIG finally executed a search warrant for Caruvana’s home, they found evidence on her computer that she had fabricated the emails.
Caruvana pleaded guilty in June and has been in custody since, with a federal judge sentencing her on November 30.